With mushroom cultivation being new in Nigeria, many entrepreneurs want to start small with a pilot project before investing substantial capital. This makes sense and is entirely possible.
People ask questions like, “How can this be done without a large investment?”. Most are smallholders with limited space. If you’re in this situation, one of the best ways to start out is by building a small dark room with tarpaulin and palm front.
This makes even higher operations feasible, enabling you to grow mushroom in all seasons, and allowing for their fast growth.
Small greenhouse tunnels 10m to 15m long and 8m wide are readily available from local suppliers and should cost between N40, 000 and N50,000.
Starting a mushroom farm is a potentially lucrative way of getting into the farming business. Its cultivation is also regarded as one of the most science-based branches of agriculture and horticulture. Growing mushroom is a rewarding experience.
Not only can it be used for your dining table, you might also be able to develop great relationships with individuals, health food stores, hotels and food caterers; if you have a small space to create a small farm.
Edible mushrooms are considered as healthy food because their mineral content is higher than that of meat or fish and most vegetables. The protein content of fresh mushrooms is about twice that of vegetables and four times that of oranges.
Mushrooms contain proteins which have all the nine amino-acids that are essential for our health.
It is clear that apart from the nutritional value of mushrooms, they have potential medicinal benefits and are also an ideal food for diabetic and obese people.
Many opportunities abound in the production of mushrooms as many hospitality industries in the country still import the product to add to their meals. Majority of big hotels in Nigeria have mushrooms in their daily menu, but this mushroom came from abroad.
It means that local production will have a ready market. Cultivation of mushrooms involves mainly the use of agricultural waste without the use of chemicals and it appears safe.
More farmers are of late going into the farming of mushrooms, a neglected and forgotten healthy food, which is not only improving the financial status of the producers but the health of the consumers as well.
The rate at which Nigerians have shown interest in the eating of mushrooms is given a massive boost to production of the delicacy.
Local demand for mushroom is increasing as the people become more health conscious by avoiding the consumption of red meat that is loaded with cholesterol.
The technology for the cultivation of mushroom species could be easily adopted by individuals, co-operative societies, families, farmers, schools in the rural and urban centres without difficulties.
The cultivation of the mushroom can be done all year round as sources of the mushrooms are from agricultural wastes which are always available in abundance in Nigeria.
Additionally, while a kilo of chicken goes for N1,000 on the average in Nigeria, a kilo of mushroom is N3,000. Mushroom beds need a dark environment for only 14 to 18 days while harvesting is usually four to five days after opening the white-bags. Mature mushrooms become ready for harvesting in another four days.
For more details on Mushroom production, visit www.jovanafarms.com