1. Agriculture

How To Start Mushroom Farming For Beginners

Mushroom farming is a lucrative business with little recognition in Nigeria. Commercial mushroom farming involves the breeding of edible mushrooms for sale.

Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of a kind of fungi. They grow on their source of food, which is usually a rotting wood, and on the soil.

Mushrooms occur in various breeds with some containing toxins that are harmful to the body while some contain nutrients which benefits the body. Apart from the many nutrients mushrooms are a source to, they have a delightful taste.

The demand for mushrooms is high while its supply is low in Nigeria. Therefore, the supply is supported by exporting mushrooms from other countries.

Is Mushroom Farming Profitable?

Mushroom farming in Nigeria is on low availability whereas its demand is high. With this, starting your mushroom farm would bring you to a market where the product is in high need but there are few suppliers. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about not finding customers.

Mushroom farming takes some effort (what business doesn’t?) but the profit is worth more than the effort. This business can make you a millionaire as long as learn the know-how and do it.

How Much Mushroom Farmers Make?

Mushroom farmers make millions! The amount you profit at the end of one season is, of course, as a result of the amount you invest in mushroom seeds.

For instance, you made 25 bags of oysters which weigh about 500 kilos. 1 kilo of oysters is N2000, 500 kilos of oyster gives you 2000 × 500 = 1,000,000 naira.

Tips To Set Up Mushroom Farm

You want to start mushroom farming, here’s what you need to do.

Get The Know-How:

To start anything, you need to know how to do it or you’ll make the slightest mistake you could have avoided.

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This article already gives you a basic knowledge of mushroom farming. Read more about it and also learn from mushroom farmers.

Acquire a Space:

Get a space for your farm. This space should be large enough to accommodate your mushrooms if using the wood log medium. For the sawdust medium, you can use a darkened room with enough ventilation in your house (to save some money) or build a farmhouse.

The Substrate or Medium:

Get the medium or substrate needed to grow the mushrooms. Examples of this substrate are sawdust and bran. The substrate must be disinfected to remove microorganisms which may affect the growth of the mushrooms.

The Container and in-Betweens:

The container can be a plastic bag or something else that has enough space to allow the mushroom spawns (seeds) to grow.

The in-betweens are equipment for sanitation which includes gloves and disinfectants and sprayers to mist the mushrooms.
Good sanitation is a very important factor in a mushroom farm which can either make or break it.

The Seeds:

The seeds called spawns must be of good quality. Aim for quality, not inexpensiveness. Make sure to get your seeds from a reliable source.

Mushroom Spawn Suppliers:

  • Prokee Import And Export Merchants.
  • KC Farm
  • Anighoro farms (based in Lagos, Ogun & and Edo state)
  • JEMAC Alternatives Nig Ltd
  • ECONERG INDUSTRIAL GROUP
  • Jomolu Farms
  • David Nigeria Limited
  • FASFAT INTEGRATED SERVICES
  • TJY Nigeria
  • AILENET BUSINESS RESOURCES
  • AB PROPERTIES AND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LIMITED
  • Mcprint Systems Limited
  • LTC Mushroom
  • Sweet Fungus Limited
  • ACEPRD Mushroom Farm (University Of Jos)
  • Afudem Farm
  • Santa Nigeria Limited
  • Paramount Integrated Ltd
  • Sunnykem Multibiz Company
  • Ozias Nigeria Limited
  • Lexon International Enterprise
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Startup Cost And Requirements

The cost to start initially ranges from N100,000-N500,000. The startup would be on the less side if some of the essentials are present.

The cost for subsequent breeding seasons would also be less since the necessary facilities are already available.

The startup cost is required to cover the acquisition of land, the building of a farmhouse (if you don’t have one already), and all the materials needed for the smooth run of the farm.

Best Ways to Make a Mushroom Farm

To build a mushroom farm, you need a medium– a substrate where the mushroom seed is planted which can allow it to grow.
This medium can either be a log of wood or sawdust.

Sawdust Medium

Sawdust is cheap to get. A bag can be sold for N50 or less if you’re buying many in bulk.

For the sawdust medium:

● Get bags of sawdust and sterilize the sawdust to remove microorganisms that would harm the mushrooms.
● Place the sawdust in a plastic bag or any other container that can accommodate the growth of the mushrooms.
● Combine the seeds of the mushroom (spawns) with the sawdust in the container.

● The mushroom spawns need an initial heat before they grow. So, place the container with the mixture of sawdust and spawns under direct sunlight to heat up for some time.

● After heating, place the container in a dark room or space. This is where the growing process occurs. This room should have good ventilation and be at normal room temperature.

● Pour some soil over the mixture and spray it with water regularly to keep it moistened for about 4 weeks as the spawns grow into mushrooms.

Wood Log Medium

To use this medium, you would need logs of wood cut into several pieces. These pieces of wood must be decontaminated and must be a good breeding area for the mushrooms.

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To plant the mushroom spawns,

● Make holes into the pieces of wood and place the spawns in these holes.

● Keep the logs under a shade to protect the spawns from direct sunlight.

● Spray the spawns regularly as they grow into mushrooms.

Types of Mushroom Species

Some of the edible mushroom species to farm in Nigeria include:

Shiitake (Letinula Edodes): This species of mushroom is said to reduce tumours. It’s widely grown in Asian countries, especially Japan.

Oysters (Pleurotus Ostreatus): This species have antibacterial and antioxidant abilities. It may also fight excess cholesterol in one’s body.

Morels (Morchella Esculenta): Morels also have antioxidant abilities like Oysters and are rich in vitamin C.

Chanterelles (Cantharellus Cibarius): This species, like Shiitake, is widely grown in Asia along with Europe’s northern regions and North America. They are rich in vitamins C and D.

Challenges of Mushroom Farming

The major challenge facing mushroom businesses in Nigeria is the inadequate information about the health benefits of mushrooms and the support they can add to the economy.

Mushroom farming is an untapped resource that can generate employment and income to Nigerians if only more people know about it.

Conclusion

Mushroom farming is interesting and it’s valuable. Not many people are involved in it. It’s easy to run and yields magnanimously in a few months. This business is one you should consider. Just learn the process and follow them and you’d have for yourself a booming business. It’s mostly consumed as livestock but it’s a vegetable.

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