It is no longer a secret that mushroom farming is one of the lucrative aspects of agricultural businesses that any existing farmer or intending farmer can venture into with little knowledge and comprehensive guide from experts.
Meanwhile, whether you decide to grow your mushrooms in your garden (for private consumption) or in a big farm (for commercial use), it is important that you know some important steps to take when growing mushroom.
Their high protein, no fat and cholesterol content make them a nutritional favourite. Mushrooms contain almost all the amino acids needed by the body and most of its by-products are used for cosmetics and medicines.
Backyard mushroom farming only takes a five-metre area to earn additional income, while keeping many top class restaurants supplied. Housewives, students, the unemployed, business-minded people, retired people or anyone with some free time can try it.
The oyster mushroom is a highly sought-after mushroom that grows everywhere! Prized by the mushroom lovers for its distinct taste and spicy-aromatic odour.
But first you need to be aware that there are wild (poisonous mushrooms) and also edible mushrooms, so when making a choice of mushroom seedlings you have to be careful to pick the right choice of mushrooms.
For Nigerians, the amazing part of this business is that mushrooms can grow in almost every part of our country provided there is shelter, reliable water supply and stable temperature in the range of 15 to 30 degrees.
There are different kinds of mushroom such as; Oyster, Lion Maine, Shiitake etc. The most popular mushroom to cultivate in Nigeria is the Oyster and Shitake.
Mushroom is a globally recognized food staple and is a significant part of various recipes enjoyed in multiple countries and by diverse cultures. Almost all vegetarians can relate with this because it is one of their major food used to replace meat, egg, fish etc. Since food has to balance mushroom has become the protein many homes need.
According to a recent research, China is the largest producer of mushrooms, producing over 200,000 metric tons of mushroom annually, which amount to about 48% of the global production. The USA succeed this rate, producing over 60,000 metric tonnes which amounts to about 11% of the global output.
Nigeria produces barely 500 metric tons of mushroom, which is way less than its production capabilities, amids its about 1500 metric tons per annual consumption rate, which leads to high imports due to inadequate production.
Today we are going to be dicussing about the different materials required to setup a mushroom farm project successfully. For a successful mushroom farming project, below are the materials required to set up the mushroom farm.
✅Polythene bags (black or white)
✅Lockable metal Drum
✅Polythene tubes or bags
✅Methylated spirit or jik or any strong disinfectant
✅Table or polythene sheet (3 metres) or improvise a clean surface
✅Table spoon for measuring variables
✅Fuel or firewood or any source of fire
✅Supplement (Soybean meal or keratin or rice bran)
✅Sisal twine,rubber bands,or any ropes
✅Hand spray pump
Read Also: Mushroom Farming Business Success Guide
Inorder to setup 100 gardens (each weighing 2kilograms of a substrate) you may need the following materials:
✍️Spawns(6% of wet weight of substrate)-12kgs
✍️Substrate -200kgsdry weight
✍️Lime(1% of dry weight of substrate)-2kgs
✍️Molasses(6% of dry weight of substrate) -12kgs
✍️Supplerments(5% of dry weight of substrate) -10kgs
✍️Polythene bags(size 22 black bags,30microns depth) -100bags
✍️3 closable drums for steaming(should be able to carry 30+ bags psacked in for steaming)
✍️2 bottles of jik or spirit or onme bottle of kerrol
✍️Polythene sheet,or turpulin or a clean sheet for mixing substrate and other key ingredientsnt
✍️Firewoood that can produce constant fire for 4hours
✍️I pack of rubberbands
✍️1kg of newspapers or 5kgs of clean cotton
✍️2-3 hand sprayer or one knapsack sprayer
✍️Dust mask,cap,and coat for each labouror to avoid sweat,dirt and impurities from mixing with any ingredients being mixed.
Read Also: The 10 Best Business Ideas on Agriculture
Uses of the Identified Raw Materials for Mushroom Farm Project
This is an organic-based material on which mushrooms grow. And a good substrate should be rich in nutrients, have good aeration and water holding capacity.
Substrates commonly used in mushroom production include agricultural by-products such as cereal straws (wheat, barley, rice, maize), cotton waste, maize cobs, coffee husks and pulp, sawdust, sugar bagasse, water hyacinth among others.
Growing mushrooms on a substrate of water hyacinth was first promoted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and has been taken up by the African University of Mutare in Zimbabwe.
The advantage of using water hyacinth, which is an unwanted weed that clogs up many waterways in Africa, is that the costs of preparing the substrate can be kept down.
However, cereal straws, particularly wheat straw, are usually the best because they are rich in nutrients that mushrooms require and they facilitate quick colonization (the formation of a white mass of mushroom mycelium) of the substrate.
This is a useful ingredient to be added to the substrate as it provides calcium to the growing mushrooms, regulates the acidity level of the substrate, counters potassium, magnesium and phosphorus concentration and increases water holding capacity thus decreasing the risk of over wetting.
It also improves the physical structure of the substrate. Lime may also be added to the substrate to adjust its pH (level of acidity)
It should be noted that different species of mushrooms will require different substrate mixes. The substrate must not be rotten, mouldy and should be kept dry while in storage.
(3) Supplements (additional nutrients to the substrate)
Supplements are materials added on the final mix of substrates to increase nitrogen content in order to improve the yields. Commonly used supplements include urea, bran, cotton seed cake, sunflower seed cake, molasses, broiler chicken manure and horse manure among others.
However, it should be noted that heavy supplementation may increase the risk of contamination by other micro-organisms which are likely to benefit from extra nutrients added to the substrate
Drum will be used for steaming and other materials as will be seen in our subsequent articles.
Now let us start that mushroom farming business and make more profits today!