Rains Bring Brisk Business For Mushroom Vendors

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

“IT IS like the Biblical manna from Heaven,” a vendor selling mushroom along the busy highway linking the towns of Kwekwe and Kadoma narrated to Saturday afternoon.

The vendor, Mavis Netsande from Amaveni high density suburb in Kwekwe, is one of the hundreds of people who throng the highway that links Harare and Bulawayo, selling mushroom.

With the current incessant rains, mushrooms are growing aplenty on anthills and plain land, enabling the vendors to harvest enough for commercial purposes.

The mushroom vendors who are mostly from Kwekwe and resettled farmers living close to the highway said they were making a “lot” of  money from the mushrooms selling business.

They are charging a small dish of the delicacy for US$2 while a bucket is ranging between US$5 and US$10.

“On a good day, I can realise US$50 from selling the mushrooms. My clients are mostly motorists and long distance bus passengers. Some people from Kwekwe and Kadoma also come and buy for resell in residential areas. I wish the rains can continue so that we make more money,” said Netsande.

Another vendor, Charles Moyo said he takes home an average of US$20 per day from mushroom sales.

“This business is very rewarding considering that one just picks the mushroom from the bush. There are no loses in this business. Every dollar is a cool profit,” said Moyo who sells the relish near Munyati River in Kwekwe.

Owing to stiff competition along the highway, some vendors are now opting to travel to cities like Bulawayo and Gweru where they sell the product at much higher prices.

Although it a delicacy to many, mushrooms can also be poisonous. Almost every season lives are lost through consuming poisonous mushrooms. There are many varieties of mushroom which grow on their own in Zimbabwe during the rainy season.

However, it is difficult for individuals who have basic knowledge of mushrooms to differentiate between poisonous and non-poisonous species since some of them have similar resemblances.