JOHOR BARU: Johor government is planning to introduce a mushroom farming project to help associations for people with disabilities create a source of income for their members.
State women, family and community development committee chairman Zaiton Ismail said the project was a joint effort with the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) and would start next year.
“This project aims to give assistance to the associations for the disabled by providing them an opportunity to start their own mushroom cultivation in order to generate a sustainable income for their members.
“Our economy has been badly hit by the pandemic which has affected everyone in the process, so the least we can do is help to give a fighting chance not only for the low-income families but to the disabled in the state as well,” she said when contacted.
Zaiton said the first phase would involve the Society of the Deaf Johor as a pioneer for the programme before it was expanded to other associations.
“We need to sit down with Irda over the plans because they have run similar programmes before.
“We can expect the plan to move forward by early next year and be completed within the same year.
“Mushroom farming has been selected due to the minimal cost of operation, space required and the minimal work that goes into it.
“So it will be perfect to help associations that have limited space in their care centres,” she said.
She disclosed that the state planned to emulate the mushroom farming project run by Irda under the Iskandar Malaysia Youth Empowerment Fund (IMPower) programme at the Down Syndrome Society of Johor in Taman Bukit Indah.“For that programme, Irda provided grants worth RM26,000 to the society where they built a shed to house 1,500 mushroom cultivation bags back in August.
“After two weeks, the mushrooms have started to produce yield and less than a month later, more than 200kg worth of mushrooms have been sold,” she said, adding that the association was able to harvest up to 10kg of mushrooms daily that was sold at RM16 per kilogramme.
“They plan to expand their mushroom shed due to the growing demand from the community, so we plan to do the same with other associations as well,” said Zaiton