Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A trip to Spain

Me and the GURELAN Management Team
Mushrooms grow on organic matter that is inoculated with mushroom spawn. Such spawn is a high-value input factor and can only be replicated under high-tech laboratory conditions. Our plans in Rwanda foresee to move away from an external spawn supplier and to set up an own production facility.

Process mapping
Since we are totally new to the process and require experts in the field to help us plan, construct and run such a spawn lab I took a trip to Pamplona, Spain, this week and met up with GURELAN, the market leader of spawn production in Spain. After two exhausting, but very productive, workshop days we have formalized the partnership, decided on how to apply for funding and mapped out the production process including adjustment for Rwanda. 

It is amazing to see how a collaborative attitude can enable great things to happen. GURELAN is well-established in the market, but seeks to enhance its social benefit and to develop tertiary markets such as Rwanda. In my opinion there are much too many NGOs, private sector enterprises as individuals that pursue ventures without the proper knowledge and skill-set. Yes, drive, motivation and speed to market is one thing, but nothing speaks against getting help from an established partner. I firmly believe it is exactly this knowledge transfer that will help developing economies to get on track. 

Autoclave for sterilization of spawn base product

Besides working on mushroom spawn I of course used the opportunity to experience local sights and cuisine. Tapas and red wine in a Spanish bar make you aware that working in a developing country is of course rewarding, but makes you sacrifice some things as well. Oh, and the Guggenheim in Bilbao really is a neat building...

Cheers + bis bald,
Guggenheim and "Puppy" by Jeff Koontz

1 comment:

  1. Rafting in July didn't made me jealous but Guggenheim... well, that's something I wish to do soon. Anyway Bilbao seems to be a very nice place for a short holiday!