Mushroom Cultivation and Its Benefits

By Vera Shawiza / March 16, 2017


Mushroom farming is a sector that has not been well explored in Kenya yet it is a profitable one. Most people have not considered venturing into this type of farming simply because not many of us consume the meal, or if we do that happens when we have attended a celebration and it happens to be on the menu.

Agribusiness is one area that is currently earning Kenyans who have taken it seriously well. This is an area that tends to bring back great returns if well invested in, and that is why we need to consider putting in more efforts through trying out new farming methods that include mushroom farming. Mushroom farming has huge prospects, but more farmers are yet to take it up as a commercial venture.

There are a number of ways that can be used to plant this fungi, and the easiest and cost effective one is using a grass-thatched mud house. An 8 by 10 feet structure is enough to grow mushrooms. This may sound weird, but yes, this structure has been stated to be the best as far as mushroom farming is concerned. The structure should be rodent-proof so as to keep off rats. It also has to be initially dark before introducing some light later on.

Mushrooms, which have 80 to 90 percent water content, need a humid environment to thrive. To achieve that, one has to keep sprinkling water in the room throughout the day. At the start of the planting process, the mushroom seed or the spawn is not planted in soil but in substrate, which made up of agricultural wastes. Almost anything that is cultivated on land is a potential substrate for mushroom cultivation and this includes wheat straw, rice, banana and coconut waste, maize cobs, sawdust and even water hyacinth. Anything from the legume family, such as bean waste, is also great because of the nitrogen content. You need bags for placing the substrate and spawn in to sprout the mushrooms. Polythene bags with a 2 kilogram are the most preferred.

Just as stated earlier, mushroom cultivation is not one of those expensive methods of farming as a 1-kilogram bag, which might range between 600 shillings to 800 shillings yields not less than 35 bags of mushroom.

The agricultural waste is then shredded into small pieces and soaked in water overnight or for two days. After wetting it, it is mixed with supplements like wheat bran or maize bran. Next pasteurize the substrate by placing it over constant heat for six hours. Pasteurizing kills micro-organisms like bacteria, because mushroom is a decomposer and you do not want anything else grow other than your edible fungi as this would destroy the crop.

After the substrate has cooled, the spawn is then introduced mixing it with the substrate inside the bags which are then taken into the house, placed on the shelves and incubated for two weeks without being touched. During these two weeks, the substrate will be colonizing, until it turns completely white, and when this happens, small holes are made around the bags so that the mushrooms can start sprouting. A little light is the introduced at this stage after making the holes. The room should be humid. Temperatures should also be between 18 to 21 degrees.

It takes two months to get a mushroom harvest. A kilogram of spawn is enough for 40 bags and each bag ideally produces 2 to 2.5 kilogram of mushrooms which can be sold at a price of 400 shillings for every kilogram.

Related: Smart Investments Involve Diversification and Informed Decision-Making



About Vera Shawiza

Vera Shawiza is Soko Directory’s in-house journalist. Her zealous nature ensures that sufficient and relevant content is generated for the Soko Directory website and sourcing information from clients is easy as smooth sailing. Vera can be reached at: (020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

View other posts by Vera Shawiza



Other Related Articles








SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE

ARCHIVES

2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (221)
  • March 2018 (279)
  • April 2018 (144)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (195)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (206)
  • July 2017 (190)
  • August 2017 (196)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (236)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (167)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (190)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (246)
  • June 2016 (183)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (250)
  • September 2016 (234)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (244)
  • December 2016 (154)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (166)
  • April 2015 (109)
  • May 2015 (117)
  • June 2015 (121)
  • July 2015 (150)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (189)
  • October 2015 (171)
  • November 2015 (174)
  • December 2015 (208)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950