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In aiming to empower women to be financially independent and alleviate poverty in the community, District Chairman Gladys Barbosa shared her knowledge in Mushroom Cultivation with women of Barangay Cogon, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao Del Norte.
During the free training, the women learnt about the whole process of mushroom cultivation: Composting, Bagging, Pasteurisation Inoculation, Growing and Marketing. They were also introduced to innovative value-added products, such as Mushroom Crunch, Mushroom Rice, Mushroom Pasta, Mushroom Chili Paste and even Mushroom Skin Care.
Edible mushrooms are a type of fungus, found to provide nutritional benefits. It can boost the immune system because it has anti-oxidant properties, beneficial for the prevention of diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. It contains protein, sodium and zinc.
JB Agri Mushroom Farm provided the facilities to accommodate 3,000 fruiting bags for the beneficiaries. Through the concerted efforts of the Inner Wheel Club of Uptown Cagayan De Oro led by President Ruby Gargar and the Inner Wheel Club of Pagadian led by President Araceli Mendoza of District 385, Bgy. Council of Cogon, Philippine National Police (IGACOS), government agencies and sponsors, this project aims to expand the greenhouse and acquire machinery needed to meet the target production of 20,000, and maximise its full earning potential for the beneficiaries.
This project started last March 2021 and will be turned over by September 2021. The target market, once fully implemented, is the Island Garden City of Samal, a famous island in the Davao Region with beautiful resorts, making it a tourist spot and the mushroom capital in Region 11.
As District Chairman Gladys said: “Mushroom cultivation requires PASSION. As a mushroom grower myself, I am so passionate about this endeavour that it results in multiplied growers in the whole of Mindanao. If I made it to the mushroom industry, these ordinary women in this community can do it too. My vision is for us to become a team, “Sabay sabay kaming aasenso at mamumuhay ng matiwasay.” It means, “Together we will rise, earn a decent living and secure the future of our families.”
The project is a spin-off from the livelihood project of the Inner Wheel Club of Uptown Cagayan De Oro, District 385, for the families of former rebel soldiers in Northern Mindanao three years ago, so they can start earning and live a decent life. Upon its successful take-off, District Chairman Gladys travelled to different parts of Mindanao to propagate Mushroom Cultivation and provide livelihood opportunities to survivors of typhoons, nuns, indigenous people of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental and other women in the community.