Human beings have been collecting mushrooms from the wild as a source of food for thousands of years. Nowadays people are growing various species of mushrooms for use as food and for medicinal purposes. Mushroom production is an example of a bioconversion application. Bioconversion refers to the use of microorganisms to convert organic material such as plant or animal waste, into usable products or energy sources. In this case, a spawn of a fungus is grown on organic waste to produce the mushrooms. Mushrooms are a high source of protein and can also be a source of income. The resulting residue can either be used as animal feed stock or used as a soil conditioner.
Although estimates vary, there are about three hundred and fifty (350) mushroom farmers in Swaziland.