Mushrooms in Ghana project
The Theosophical Order of Service–USA, at its Feburary 2015 board meeting, approved a grant to the Mushrooms for Well Being Foundation: Mushrooms in Ghana Project. The funds will help to renovate and complete a spawn (mushroom seed) laboratory at Bemcom Training and Resource Centre in Techiman, Ghana, West Africa.
The Foundation seeks to promote education about the health and medicinal benefits of mushrooms, promote mushroom consumption and production worldwide, including the US and also in developing countries where small-scale mushroom production can increase food security and economic development and provide an additional source of protein.
Mushrooms in Ghana Project has been working with Bemcom Training and Resource Centre in Techiman, Brong-Ahafo Region, Ghana, West Africa, first to address contamination issues with the centre and with area oyster mushroom farmers; second to introduce shiitake mushroom production on logs as a way to diversify crops and increase production and profits; and to protect against crop failure, as has happened in the past due to contamination. And third, to establish a government-approved laboratory to manufacture spawn for central and northern Ghana, as spawn is in short supply throughout Ghana and West Africa – and in all developing countries.
Bemcom’s motto is “Freedom from Poverty”. According to its founder, Bernard Bempah, Bemcom now has 800 farmers growing oyster mushrooms. The farmers, most of them women, are increasing their incomes and feeding their families and communities with their mushroom production.
The TOS-USA felt this to be a project worthy of its support and in line with its mission: “A union of those who love in the service of all that suffers”. Their pledge to support the International TOS’ two year emphasis on women’s issues which began in September of 2013 was also a factor in their decision to award the grant. John Osmond Boakye, General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in West Africa assisted the TOS-USA by visiting Bemcom and speaking with Bernard Bempah personally. Nancy Secrest, president of the TOS-USA, said, “General Secretary Boakye’s help was invaluable. He could do what we could not, actually visit the site. John’s glowing report of the facility and the young man who runs it secured us in our decision to help. We are grateful for his assistance.
More information about the Mushrooms in Ghana Project can be found on its website: