Famous Mushroom Grower
Abijuru Jonathan is A Huguka Dukore Akazi Kanoze graduate, he lives in Mageragere Sector, Nyarugenge District. Jonathan is a professional mushroom farmer. He started this business in 2018 and when he heard about GROW trainings that are for youth who have already an income generating activity, he did not hesitate to enroll. He completed the trainings in August 2019. Jonathan has agreed to share with us his journey as a mushroom farmer to inspire his fellow youth.
GROW trainings target youth who have a generating income activity already set, the trainings equip them with knowledge and skills that support into growing and expanding their businesses. “I learned about these trainings about youth representatives in my sector of residence. It was an opportunity for me to learn skills that would boost my business especially that I started this business with no soft skills except the technical ones. I was so excited” says Jonathan.
During his journey of farming mushrooms, Jonathan would take lessons of growing mushroom seeds in Muhanga district, he has now mastered the skills to grow healthy mushrooms. “I am very appreciative of my trainers who encouraged me to keep doing study trips learning about mushroom seeds and last year I have started my own mushroom seeds. I have positive feedback from everyone I sell my mushrooms to and that is enough encouragement for me to always providing the best services” Jonathan says.
Jonathan testifies that the skills he learned during GROW trainings have shaped how he views his business and how he treats his customers. “The most valuable skills I have learned are how I retain customers and gaining new ones by making a constant follow up, making sure the follow guidelines when they are farming mushrooms. I make this happen by calling them, using my social media like facebook, I advertise my products and services through all those channels. My clients also refer me to others” say Jonathan.
Jonathan does not keep his expertise to himself. He has started training other youth and cooperatives how to grow mushroom seeds. “My customers come from all over the country and it is thanks to my customer care skills that are advanced now that I have GROW trainings but not only that, I have started training women and youth cooperatives who want to grow mushrooms. It has been an honor to do so, since it is all by referrals” he says.
Jonathan continues his journey to develop himself and his family. On this day, mushroom farming has managed to build 2 houses, one for storing and growing mushroom seeds, and another for residence and a piece land he has bought, all these have a value of 8 million Rwandan francs. Jonathan is proud of the progress he has made, all thanks to GROW trainings. His long term goal is to buy professional machines that make mushroom seeds grow faster and better to increase his harvest.
Jonathan showing his mushroom seeds