Mushroom farming in Nigeria is a very lucrative business; here is a comprehensive guide on what you need and how yo get started as a beginner.
The mushroom is a form of fungi that grows on the soil or on the body of decaying tree trunks. There are edible and inedible mushrooms. It has a lot of health benefits which includes weight loss, remedy for tumors, vitamin sources, fighting infections in diabetic patients, regulation of the levels of blood cholesterol, prevention of breast and prostate cancer, boosting bone health and improving the immune system, regulation of blood pressure, stimulation of iron absorption and a lot more. Study is ongoing about possible cure of HIV with oyster breed of much room.
Mushrooms mainly grow in moist or damp environment and have to be grown under shade to shield it from the effect of sun and wind. It requires oxygen to survive.
What Is Mushroom Farming About?
Mushroom farming is the practice of growing mushroom in a large scale for commercial purposes. The steps involved in mushroom farming include the following: making the compost, finishing the compost, spawning, casing, pinning, and cropping.
Making the Compost
This process is carried out in an enclosed structure. It usually last from 7 to 14 days. This depends on the nature of the starting composting material and the feature at each turn. It frequently followed by a putrefying odor of ammonia followed by a moldy and pleasant smell.
Finishing The Compost
This stage is carried out to kill pest fungi, insects, nematodes, and other pests that may be living in the compost. This is done through the process of pasteurization. It is as well carried out to get rid of all forms of ammonia produced during the first stage of the making the compost.
This phase involves the introduction of the compost with introduced with mushroom spawn for the mushroom to grow. Mushrooms are made up of microscopic spores inside the cap through which it grows.
The spawn process would run for 14 to 21 days, and the moment the compost has fully grown with the spawn, the next phase is then carried out.
The casing is a type of dressing that is applied to the top of the spawn compost, which the mushrooms ultimately form on.
The pinning occurs when the mushroom starts to form after the rhizomorphs have developed in the casing. As soon as the first growth reaches roughly four times its size, it becomes a pin and can be harvested around 18 to 21 days after casing.
This is the harvesting period. It can be done for 3 to 5 days repetitively. This cycle goes on till all the mushroom has been harvested around 35 to 42 days or occasionally for 60 days.
Types of Mushroom
There are four types of mushrooms. These include the following:
These types of mushrooms grow on putrefying wood, plants and animals. Saprotrophs are made up of acids and enzymes that assist in the decomposition of dead organic matter to enrich themselves. Examples of saprotrophs are Oysters, Shiitakes, Morels and so on.
This type of mushroom have a symbiotic relationship with trees they grow on and are difficult to grow. Examples are Chanterelles, Porcini and many more.
This type of mushroom is related to the mycorrhizal mushroom but the only difference is that they are much easier to grow. They can be cultivated outside the natural host.
They provide the host with nutrients and resistance to pathogens while the host supplies them with support and nutrient.
The parasitic mushroom has a one sided relationship with its host. It infests the host and kills it. Examples of this type of mushroom are the Honey fungus; Caterpillar and Lion’s mane are all good examples of parasitic mushrooms. For mushroom farming to be successful, you must choose the best specie that is commonly consumed in your locality.
Edible mushroom for Mushroom farming
For mushroom farming, use edible form of mushroom. Examples of edible mushroom you can grow in your farm include the following:
Chanterelles (Cantharellus Cibarius)
This type of mushroom has large quantity of vitamin C, D and potassium. It is mostly grown in Asia, North America and the northern Europe.
Shiitake (Letinula Edodes)
Shiitake (Letinula Edodes) is mainly grown in Asia particularly in Japan. It is used as a remedy for tumors.
Morels (Morchella Esculenta)
Morels have good contents of vitamin C and antioxidants which helps it to protect the body from poisonous materials. It protects the liver.
These types of mushroom are referred to as magic mushrooms and shrooms. They are manly used in the production of leisure drugs and are dark-spored mushroom that are made up of gills. They grow in meadows and woods of the subtropics and tropics normally in soils with rich humus content and plant debris. They grow in all continents but thrive most in subtropical humid forests.
Mushroom species that thrives best on wooden logs or sawdust are:
- Laetiporus sulphureus
- Hericium erinaceus
- Pholiota nameko
Mushroom species that can be grown on manure, compost, straw, or a mixture of the environment are:
- Agaricus campestris
- Macrolepiota procera
- Coprinus comatus
- Lentinus edodes
- Agaricus bisporus
- Lepista nuda
- Stropharia rugoso-annulata
Mushroom farming is a great agro business to invest in especially if you want to invest in agricultural production that has great export potential. It has a great market both internationally and within the local environment.