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Peace Corps Worker From Pound Ridge Aids Farmers In Nepal

Benjamin Wagner worked to establish a mushroom collective in Nepal.
Benjamin Wagner worked to establish a mushroom collective in Nepal. Photo Credit: Contributed
Mushrooms in Nepal.
Mushrooms in Nepal. Photo Credit: Contributed
Wagner works with residents of Nepal.
Wagner works with residents of Nepal. Photo Credit: Contributed

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Benjamin Wagner, a Pound Ridge resident and Peace Corps volunteer, is establishing a mushroom collective in Nepal for female farmers that will help them earn money for their families and add a nutrient-rich supplement to their diets.

With assistance from a Peace Corps Small Projects Assistance grant, Wagner and a local women’s development committee have established six mushroom collectives, provided training for the women and built two mushroom cultivation houses.

The majority of Wagner’s community is comprised of subsistence farmers, and mushrooms – which can be dried – will provide both income and nutrition to the community during the off-season.

“In practice, food security involves agriculture, nutrition, income generation and more — it’s so all-encompassing that it seems, at times, overwhelming, but it can really be empowering,” said Wager, a graduate of Middlebury College who has been living and working in Nepal since 2013.

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