• Monday, March 04, 2024
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Making Millions from Mushroom Farming

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“Did you know that you can make as much as N10million annually through the local production and exportation of the mushroom products, my dear Adams?” The question came from an expert in the field of mushroom farming, simply called Johnny.

But Adams laughed it off as one huge joke. Yet, Johnny was not deterred. He said: “ I understand why you think that is not possible. And that is one of the problems with human beings. We often overlook and underrate the power of some products, as we do with some people and places, with the power to turn our lives around. That was one inspiring encounter.

Read also: Mushroom Bite

The other was an eye-opening, popular program on agriculture recently shown on a Nigerian television station. That of course, inspired this week’s article. Just as Johnny was ready to unveil the secrets behind the lucrative mushroom farming, one went further to dig deeper into what it all entails. The questions to answer include: What are mushrooms, types, their nutritional benefits, and methods of farming and presentation to rake in the millions?

What are mushrooms?

Mushroom is a “fungal growth that typically takes the form of a domed cap on a stalk, with gills on the underside of the cap”. It grows on the soil or the bark of decaying tree trunks. It can also be grown in a greenhouse.

Types of mushrooms include Beech mushrooms, Portobello, Oyster mushrooms, Enoki mushrooms, Morel mushrooms, Penny Bun, Cremini, Maitake and Button mushrooms. Others include Hedgehog Mushroom, Shiitake Mushrooms, Porcini and Chanterelle mushrooms.

Nutritional benefits of mushroom

According to the online portal of Medically reviewed by Kim Rose-Francis RDN, CDCES, CNSC, LD, and Nutrition by Sarah Garone on April 28, 2021, some vital information on mushrooms are important to know.

With regards to the immense nutritional benefits, mushrooms are sought after because they decrease the risk of cancer, lower sodium intake, promote lower cholesterol, protect brain health, provide a source of vitamin D for strong bones, stimulate a healthier gut to ease digestion and support a healthy immune system. Wonderful, is it not? Of course, it is! But it has been underrated because of people’s lack of knowledge on human nutrition.

Edible and non-edible mushrooms

But worthy of note is that not all species of mushrooms are edible for man. Kindly note that when yours truly was growing up in my father’s Akeneso Farm near Ayere in the then Kabba Province(now defunct) back in the ‘50s and early ‘60s we were taught that the edible mushrooms are those also eaten by ants. Those, not attractive to them were discarded as poisonous to man. I do hope that our researches are fully aware of this discovery.

On the other hand, the 10 edible species of mushrooms include white button, cremini, shiitake, maitake, oyster, enoki, beech, Portobello, trumpet, chanterelle. Those interested in mushroom farming should contact experts in the field from research institutes such as Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, the IITA as well as Universities of Agriculture for details.

According to experts, apart from the delicious taste of edible mushrooms, there are specific health benefits. For instance, the button mushroom can help in reducing weight, shiitakes mushrooms are known to fight tumors. The chanterelle mushrooms contain a reasonable amount of vitamins. In fact, the oyster is currently being studied as a possible cure for HIV.

Though edible fungi are commonly known as mushrooms that have been classified as vegetables, however, technically they are not considered plants. They are rich in riboflavin, potassium, vitamin D, selenium, and other ingredients that are beneficial for human health.

Clinical results and preclinical studies have shown it helps in supporting healthy immunity, weight management, and overall health performance. Additionally, its consumption can potentially reduce the risk of asthma and diseases, such as prostate cancer, and breast cancer, which, in turn, aids in boosting its consumption and sales performance.

Gourmet and medicinal mushrooms are the most profitable mushrooms for small producers. These include Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, and the various types of Oyster Mushrooms amongst many more. Profitable Business Ideas With Low Start-up Costs

According to Fortune Business Insight, “ In the year 2020, the global mushroom market size was 14.35 million tonnes. The market is projected to grow from 15.25 million tonnes in 2021 to 24.05 and million tonnes in 2028 at a CAGR of 6.74 per cent during the ‪2021-2028‬ period.”

Europe accounts for the largest market for cultivated mushrooms, with more than 35 per cent of the global market as demands are also steadily rising in North America..

Steps to growing mushrooms

As it has been stated, not all mushrooms are edible. So, the first step in growing your mushrooms is to identify the species that are good for consumption. The second edition of Six Steps to Mushroom Farming recognizes that much progress in mushroom farming has taken place over the last 25 years since the original edition was published. compost necessitates an updated, reorganized, and expanded second edition of Six Steps to Mushroom Farming. Trends such as use of forced aeration Phase I, Phase II tunnels, Phase III bulk spawn run, casing inoculum, compost supplementation, hybrids, improved nutritional status of mushrooms, and alternative uses of post-crop mushroom.

Mushroom farming consists of six steps. The six steps are Phase I composting, Phase II composting, spawning, casing, pinning, and cropping. These steps are described in their naturally occurring sequence, emphasizing the salient features within each step. Compost provides nutrients needed for mushrooms to grow. Two types of material are generally used for mushroom compost, the most used and least expensive being wheat straw-bedded horse manure. Synthetic compost is usually made from hay and wheat straw, although the term often refers to any mushroom compost where the prime ingredient is not horse manure. Both types of compost require the addition of nitrogen supplements and a conditioning agent, gypsum.

1. Phase I: Making Mushroom Compost and Aeration. 2. Phase II: Finishing the Compost.3.1 Supplementation at spawning.3.2 Phase III and Phase IV compost.3.3 Mushroom varieties with ground limestone can be used as casing. Casing does not need nutrients since casing acts as a water reservoir and a place where rhizomorphs form.

4. Casing is a top-dressing applied to the spawn-run compost on which the mushrooms eventually form. A mixture of peat moss rhizomorphs there will be no mushrooms.4.1 Casing inoculum (CI).4.2 Supplementation at casing.The addition of nutrients at casing was first tried in the early 1960s. Results showed that much greater amounts of nutrients could be added at casing than at spawning and that yield increases were almost proportional to the amount added. 5. Pinning: Mushroom initials develop after rhizomorphs have formed in the casing. The initials are extremely small but can be seen as outgrowths on a rhizomorph. 6. Cropping

The terms flush, break, or bloom are names given to the repeating 3- to 5-day harvest periods during the cropping cycle; these are followed by a few days when no mushrooms are available to harvest. This cycle repeats itself in a rhythmic fashion, and harvesting can go on as long as mushrooms continue to mature.

In all of these, those interested should visit research institutes and universities as earlier stated.