With the prevailing chronic poverty, droughts, and high demand of nutritious food across the globe, NEPAD Southern Africa Network for Bioscience (SANBio) Namibia Student Ambassador, Abner Tomas has come up with an innovative and frugal way to grow mushrooms with the aim to create income generating opportunities for unemployed youth in Namibia.
What do you get when you combine a team of Mechanical Engineering, Law and Information Technology students and challenge them to build basic but crucial lab equipment?
Mr Eduard Roos, a PhD candidate at Stellenbosch University in South Africa recently received a BioFISA II mobility grant from SANBio to attend a practical workshop at the University of Namibia’s (UNAM) School of Veterinary Medicine.
Have you ever wondered why mushrooms are so expensive and seem like an elitist food? Why would a fungus cost more than beef and fish? How nutritious could this delicacy be? Well, wonder no more. All types of edible mushrooms contain varying degrees of protein and fibre. They also contain B vitamins as well as selenium, which helps to support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues. Mushrooms are being increasingly researched and used for their important health benefits with different varieties having different medicinal properties.
Food safety is a global issue of increasing concern for governments, food producers, food processors and handlers, as well as consumers. For Africa and particularly the Southern African region, governments are always putting much effort and funds into solutions for food security. However, the progress made has not made the region food secure. Nonetheless, while governments create platforms for development, the major drivers of development are private sectors entities.
Namibia, while a beautiful country with five distinct geographical areas, is also the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa. Water is scarce, and the dry climate contributes to limited vegetation, leading to a lack of firewood. As firewood is an important energy source in rural areas, it is a valued resource. Fire has many uses after all; it can, for example, be used for sterilization of mushroom substrates.