Do you know that commercial Mushroom farming is a lucrative business with little recognition in Nigeria? Even so, 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. That’s reason beginner mushroom farmers can tap in now and start making profit.
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.
Also, 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 to Make From Mushroom Farming
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.
Mushroom Farming At Home
You want to start mushroom farming at home. Its not the kind of business that selects location. You can create the kind of habitat suitable for growing mushrooms at home. 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.
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.
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.
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. Further more, in-betweens are equipment for sanitation which includes gloves and disinfectants and sprayers to mist the mushrooms. Because good sanitation is a very important factor in a mushroom farm which can either make or break it.
Getting The Seeds for Mushroom Farming
The seeds called spawns must be of good quality. All in all, aim for quality, not inexpensiveness. And 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
You can also get mushroom seeds from The Mushroom Association in Nigeria.
Mushroom Farming Setup Cost & Requirements
The cost to start initially ranges from N100,000-N500,000. Startup would be on the less side if some of the essentials are present, and if you are doing it at home without land cost.
Also, cost for subsequent breeding seasons would be less since the necessary facilities are already available.
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
Moreover, 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 is cheap to get. A bag can be sold for N50 or less if you’re buying many in bulk. And you can get it from any wood market across Nigeria.
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. The 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
Furthermore, 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.
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.
4 Categories of Mushrooms
The four main categories of mushrooms are:
- Edible mushrooms
- Medicinal mushrooms
- Poisonous mushrooms
- Miscellaneous Group
As can be expected, edible mushrooms are mushroom you can eat as food. The medicinal mushrooms are used in taking care of certain ailments and can be used by pharmaceutical companies in the production of drugs. A poisonous mushroom is deadly. They are mushrooms that are both medicinal as well as edible. While miscellaneous group are those which contains mushrooms whose values are not yet established.
Also, these edible mushrooms are packed with protein, vitamins and also contain moderate amount of vitamin. But they are very low in carbohydrate. They are better referred to as vegetables, and they are absorbable by the body without producing waste.
There are common edible mushroom species in Nigeria. The Pleurotus tuber-regium or tuberous mushroom for example is popular in the south eastern Nigeria.
Popular Mushroom Species
Some of the edible mushroom species to farm in Nigeria include:
- Shiitake (Letinula Edodes): This species of mushroom is said to reduce tumors. 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
Moreover, 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.
5 Stages of Mushroom Cultivation
While mushroom farming may follow these five stages, not each step requires careful handling for best results. Because all mushrooms may not follow all the five steps mentioned above. It depends on each species. And some species may require specific conditions for their growth and development.
Interestingly, to start mushroom farming, you need to first prepare the bed using different substrates. There are different types of substrates suitable for mushroom farming in Nigeria. Below are common ones:
- Banana leaves
- Banana stems
- Oil palm fruit fiber
- Oil palm bunch
- Banana peels
- Corn husk
Spawning simple means mushroom seed planting. This process is to create a vegetative state for the mushrooms. When they are spawned, after a while, the mycelium will grow and run through the system in few days – which is noticed by the white color. You don’t leave it like this, because you don’t want to get the fruiting bodies.
That leads us to the next stage, which is known as casing.
Here the key ingredient is calcium carbonate soil – which is required to cover the mushroom white vegetative state. This process is to convert the mushroom from a vegetative to productive phase.
Casing starves the mushroom of nutrients, which in return inspires the mushrooms to fight for survival, by producing spores, leading to forming fruiting bodies that the farmer can harvest.
Harvesting or Picking
This is the most important stage of cultivation for mushroom farming. The initial first day harvest is followed by another harvest two or three days after the first harvest. You repeat harvest again after two or three days up to fourth or fifth time. When you notice the yield is decreasing, you can stop harvesting to give it more time to grow again.
Also, consider the specie of mushroom when harvesting. Some species may not support frequent harvest due to their yield level.
As you can see, your package must follow international standard, especially if you are farming mushrooms for export. Note that the best packaging always win. Canned mushroom is good for export market. Drying your mushroom is another process in packaging and it helps in storing it for long period.
Mushroom Markets In Nigeria
Mushroom marketing opportunities includes selling to end users who may have capacity to consume more mushrooms. You should consider the following market opportunities:
- Super markets
- Export markets
While it may be easier to target restaurants, hotels and super markets in Nigeria for your mushroom farming produce, selling directly to households may require online presence. Targeting export market may also be a huge selling option if your produce very large quantity or you are creating a large mushroom farm.
Mushroom Export Opportunities
In addition, mushroom export can take different forms. It can be exported fresh, dried or canned. However, as a beginner mushroom farmer, it’s recommended you don’t go this alone. Starting mushroom farming maybe simply and easily explained in a post like this, but exporting mushrooms may not be that simple.
There are laws, procedures and export requirements you may need to be abreast of. Ignorance may cost you more than you can afford to pay. And since policies can change and different export countries may have different rules, I advise that you join the Nigerian Mushroom association.
Besides, your membership will keep you abreast of how other members are doing their export and you will also get members free help from the association in exporting your mushroom.
in summary, mushroom farming is interesting and it’s valuable. But not many people are involved. It’s easy to run and yields magnanimously in a few months. In short, this business is one you should consider. Just learn the process and follow them and you’d have for yourself a booming business. Mushrooms are mostly consumed as livestock like sheep, but it’s a vegetable.