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Posted September 2000

Mushroom production training for disabled people: a progress report

Buildings, tools and equipment



Objectives of the project

The training center

Why mushrooms?

The project team

Training of trainers

Selecting trainees

The training

Buildings, tools and equipment

Outreach and impacts

Feasibility, sustainability, replicability

Selected success cases

Conclusions and recommendations

Annex 1: Layout of mushroom cultivation center

Annex 2: Buildings and equipment

Annex 3: Main steps in mushroom cultivation

Annex 4: Contributors to the project's success

People with disabilities are capable of learning and doing many things if not everything. However, they may need to do things differently. Special accessibility for buildings, and adaptation of tools and equipment is often necessary.

The mushroom cultivation center in Ubon Ratchathani offers all the facilities encountered on a commercial farm and therefore gives hands on experience to trainees. Mushroom houses must take into account ventilation, humidity, temperature and light, while buildings and equipment had to be adapted for use and accessibility by people with disabilities. Doors and aisles needed to be wide enough for easy access by people in wheelchairs. The height of mushroom racks allows people in wheelchairs to access to highest level while pasteurization chambers were built lower than standard.

Not only did the design of buildings need to be adapted, but also costs needed to be revised. Modern and state of the art equipment cannot realistically be used by farmers. Alternative construction designs were developed for trainees when they set-up their own mushroom houses and facilities. Trainees learned how to make simple inexpensive mushroom houses. Grass rice straw, dried leaves and other materials can be used efficiently.

Pasteurization systems using readily available and appropriate material and technology can be built for those new entrepreneurs who wish to make their own mushroom bags as to generate higher income.

Special formulation for medium in mushroom bags was developed to ensure low cost, high yield and sweet tasting mushrooms. Equipment, additional to basic raw material, were required to facilitate teaching. These include video and pictures to show how other people with disabilities countered physical problems. It is also necessary for trainees to see and try different production systems and compare the benefits of each so they can select the one most suitable for their personal needs considering their disability.

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