I will show you the basics of mushroom farming in this step by step guide on mushroom farming in Nigeria. In time past, mushroom cultivation was not taken seriously, particularly here in Africa; most people didn’t like eating mushrooms.
Even those who sometimes ate mushrooms were regarded as people who could not afford to buy meat.
We all know that today, because of foreign investors, information technology and migration of people from one part of the world to another, the story has changed as many people have come to know the importance of mushroom to health.
What are Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are organisms that behave like animals, they feed on plants that they live on. Every plant has green coloring except mushrooms.
The seed of mushroom is called spawn, it is very small and so, it cannot be seen with the naked eyes, except with a microscope.
Because of the delicate nature of the mushrooms, they cannot be planted like every other crop. Everything that is to be used for mushroom cultivation is to be sterilized to avoid contamination, as contamination of the spawn will kill the spawn before it starts germinating.
For mushroom farming to be successful the following has to be done.
Mushroom composting is the process of mixing sawdust – the soil used for planting mushroom, with rice bran or wheat straw. In planting mushroom, we use sawdust instead of soil used for other crops.
For mushroom farming in Nigeria, or any other part of the world to be successful, composting is vital as this serves as fertilizer.
So, to make the sawdust rich and fertile, mix the sawdust with rice bran or wheat straw. This will make the mushroom grow properly and yield bountiful harvest.
This process is the same as adding fertilizer to the soil when planting other crops like maize, yam etcetera. Only, this time, the items used for composting are all organic rather than artificial fertilizers.
Bagging for Mushroom Farming
This is where the mixed sawdust is put into bags and suppressed. It is done so that there will be no space for air in the mixed saw dust.
Sterilization in Mushroom Cultivation
Since we use sawdust for mushroom cultivation instead of soil that is generally used for other crops. And because of the delicate nature of the spawn, there has to be a sterilization unit where the sawdust will be sterilized to eradicate any bacteria that may be present in it.
Inoculation in Mushroom Farming
Because of the delicate nature of the spawn, it has to be prepared in the laboratory using microscope and other equipments necessary for the spawn to germinate and grow properly.
In the laboratory, the laboratory technicians are to carry out some tests and inoculate the spawn into the sterilized saw – dust. This process of putting the seed into the sawdust is known as inoculation.
Incubation of Mushroom Spawn
The already inoculated spawn has to be incubated for a period of thirty days and at a room temperature of 30oc, this is to enable the delicate spawn become strong before transferring it to cropping house.
Cropping House for Mushroom Cultivation
This is where the mushroom will finally be transferred and be harvested within one week of transfer from the incubation room.
For more on this read my article on “The Basics of Mushroom Farming”.
How to Harvest Mushroom in Nigeria
The mushroom can be harvested within one week of transferring it to the cropping house. It is harvested on a daily basis for a period of three months and this is one of the things that make it different from other crops.
Processing the Harvested Mushroom in Nigeria
After harvesting, it can be dried or packaged fresh. Though there are those who have industrial oven for processing. You can also process with a domestic oven you have at home.
Marketing Mushroom in Nigeria
Mushroom can be sold fresh or dried and exported for foreign exchange.
Now, you may be wondering, how on earth you can sell mushrooms in Nigeria. Nigeria as the largest country in Africa, has immigrants from various parts of the world who own businesses in Nigeria. Such immigrants consume mushrooms.
Also, there are hotels and eateries in Nigeria that need daily supply of mushrooms. So, wherever you are in Nigeria, be rest assured that you have a huge market for mushroom.
As a matter of fact, there is no enough supply of mushroom in Nigeria. More mushroom farmers are needed to bridge the gap between the huge demand and the supply.
The bottom line is, if you want to go into mushroom farming in Nigeria, you don’t need to start from the scratch, as this might be expensive because of the laboratory equipment used to prepare the seed (spawn).
So the best way to start cultivating mushroom in Nigeria is to buy the already prepared seed from big farmers who supply to upcoming mushroom farmers at reduced price.
I advise that anyone who intends to start a mushroom farm should buy the already inoculated spawn as this will save you time and money.
For more information on how to start mushroom farming in Nigeria, or how to get colonised bags to start cultivating mushroom in Nigeria. Contact me using the comment form.
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