Scientists at the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) have launched a project to promote new varieties of mushrooms for food and medicine. The project seeks to domesticate lesser-known edible varieties of mushroom and popularise those with potent medicinal properties.The university is also preparing to initiate research on the use of biological additives to develop new varieties of mushroom with different types of aroma and flavour.
Mushrooms have an established history of use in traditional oriental medicine. Studies have established that they are unlimited sources of therapeutically useful biological agents. Yet, there has been very little effort in India in general and Kerala in particular, to identify and popularise beneficial mushrooms,” KAU Vice-Chancellor P. Rajendran said.
Several mushroom varieties in South India were found to possess nutraceutical and anti-oxidant properties, he said. “KAU is keen on furthering the studies on the medicinal value of native mushrooms. We are trying to identify a collaborating institution for this research project,” Dr. Rajendran said.
Inspired by the importance of edible mushrooms to individual health and good results from their production, a mushrooms’ Company SOCHA (Société des Champignons), located at Ngagara Commune near OTRACO Company, deals with cultivating, producing and promoting them.
According to Emile Nsengiyumva, the Chairman of SOCHA, ediblemushrooms are not new in Burundi but people don’t know how to cultivate them and the importance they have in human health as well as their economic role in the community.
However, this kind of cultivation requires being more careful because if a mushroom famer doesn’t make a close follow -up during the cultivation period the production can fall down very easily.
In fact, the cultivation of mushrooms is ignored by people because they aren’t aware of their utility in our everyday life and some Burundian people have in their mind that mushrooms are a kind of food for indigenous or low class people.
“Edible mushrooms have many proteins, i.e. 15-27% dry matter and vegetable which have a more positive impact on individual health than food containing animal protein that causes some diseases like gout which is characterized by excessive amount of uric acid in the body” declares Nsengiyumva.
He goes on saying that edible mushrooms are poor in sugar and fat. So, people suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure are advised to consume them.
“Edible mushrooms are also rich in vitamins C, and B, as well as in lipid and mineral,” states Nsengiyumva.
He highlights that in environmental domain, edible mushrooms don’t have any negative impact. “They are cultivated on shelves. Then, if you plant them they won’t cause erosion or destroy other kinds of cultivation plants,” points out Nsengiyumva.
He adds that for other plants, after people have harvested they burn the rest, this may damage or spoil the ozone layer(protecting the air) but for the edible mushrooms we use the rest for cultivation substrate and what we get from the harvest we give it to other farmers for their compost.
People have been flocking to the forests to collect forestry products to sell to Chinese merchants, making the special use forest resources depleted and hindering the local socio-economic development.
On September 3, when reporters reached to the An Toan mountainous commune, there was no young man or adult. “They have gone to the forest to pick mushrooms,” an old woman said.
People would pick up everything they see in the forest, but they mostly look for lingzhi mushroom and Anoectochilus setaceus, or called “lan kim tuyen,” because the two kinds of plants can be sold at higher prices.
A kilo of lan kim tuyen is priced at VND1.25 million, while a kilo of fresh lingzhi mushroom at VND50,000. These are the price levels at which people sell to Vietnamese merchants, who would sell to Chinese businessmen. In Quy Nhon City, lan kim tuyen could be sold at VND2.5 million per kilo.
According to Hoa, Chinese merchants collect everything, while local people would pluck everything which they can sell for money.
Of the forestry plants found at Hoa’s house, there was a very black one that local people call “nam hom”, or “casket mushroom,” which means that if someone eats the mushroom, he will surely die (be put into casket) because there is no cure for the poison.
“I would pay VND40,000 per kilo of fresh nam hom,” Hoa said, adding that this kind of mushroom was plenty in the An Toan special use forest, but it has got exhausted because of the overexploitation.
Dinh Van Ninh and his wife came back home at 5 pm. They found 0.1 kilo of lan kim tuyen and some nam hom mushrooms for which they could sell for VND130,000.
In India, mushroom is a unique non-traditional cash crop grown indoors, both as a seasonal crop and round-the-year under the controlled environmental conditions. About 2000 species of fungi are used as food by tribes and various communities, however, only a few are cultivated. Climatic conditions in India are favourable for natural occurrence of mushrooms and some of them are regularly collected and used as food by the natives particularly those belonging to tribes. The common mushrooms collected from nature are species of Astraeus, Auricularia, Calvatia, Cantharellus, Lycoperdon, Morchella, Schizophyllum, Termitomyces, Tuber etc.
The country’s economy may have grown beyond the expectations of experts and analysts but ordinary housewives in rural Misamis Oriental and Butuan said they have yet to feel its impact. But, they do not want to just depend on government dole-outs to improve their lot.
Lita Abrio, Tata Macarayo, Maricar Payla, Florisa Abejuela and Grace Macaraya said that they “have not felt the economic growth” the government is claiming. These mothers said they are still waiting for the benefits of a higher gross domestic product to trickle down to them.
“But if we just wait and do nothing, our own economic status will not improve,” Abrio told the BusinessMirror.
This prompted the five mothers to join the Korean International Cooperation Agency (Koica)-funded “Microbial/Organic Fertilizer and Mushroom Cultivation in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.” The project is being implemented by the Center for Overseas in Agriculture and International Development in partnership with the Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology and the Department of Agriculture Region Field Unit 10.
“Mushroom growing requires little space and time and we can make use of the rice straws farmers leave behind to rot after harvesting rice. Also, mushrooms can be grown the whole year round,” said Payla.
The European Union (EU) has commissioned the Federal Institute of Industrial Reserch, Oshodi (FIIRO), to research and develop edible mushroom cultivation technology for domestication.
This came just as EU sponsors FIIRO and other organisations in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Portugal, Thailand, Vietnam and Ghana on Gains from the Losses of Roots and Tubers Crops (GRATITUDE) project.
Director-General, FIIRO, Dr Gloria Elemo, while receiving partners from Thailand and Vietnam last week, explained that the GRATITUDE project involved researching ways in which gains can be made from the waste acquired from cassava and yam peels.
She explained that the result obtained from researches on the use of cassava peel, yam peel and cassava stalk as substrates to produce edible mushrooms, in the past months, had been good, adding that the essence of the partnership was to learn how to use waste from cassava peels to make gains.
She noted that since cassava was getting a lot of attention in the country, it was important to prevent wastage and look for ways to make value out of the waste, adding that from their work, it had been discovered that mushroom thrives well on a celluloid background.
She added that the institute had acquired equipment for production of compost material for mushroom cultivation and dehumidifiers for environment conditioning, among others.
Dr Elemo explained that for over 20 years, FIIRO had developed various mushroom species and the cultivation of the mushroom, adding that people had been trained on the development and cultivation of mushroom.
Allow me to introduce you to Bun Lai. She is a widow who lives in a small but typical Cambodian village. She is extremely poor. Even though most Westerners visiting this village would instantly decide that everyone is poor, there are actual varying degrees of poverty that exist even in this village and Bun Lai is on the lowest rung. She is even shunned by some because of her lack of resources.
Bun Lai also has TB. She is coughing up blood and is greatly fatigued. When we talked about her illness it came up in the conversation that there is a clinic near the village which has the medicine that Bun Lai needs. The medicine has been donated to the clinic but the man running the clinic will not give the medicine to those in need. He charges a fee of $25—a fee that Bun Lai cannot afford to pay. So, she has gone without the medicine that she needs.
Her story had me undone until I realized the ending hadn’t yet been written.
There were new chapters to write. Bun Lai now has her medicine. She is doing small jobs at our farm; eating at our farm; and is now part of a small community that really cares about her. She is now one of nine women learning to farm mushrooms to help provide her with a sustainable income. Skills are being taught. Relationships are being created. Food and medicine are being provided. Hope is being instilled. Her life is being changed.
This is why we are here in Cambodia. Thanks for helping us to be here!
Wholesale prices of onion and mushroom have increased massively over the past fortnight, thanks to drop in supplies.
According to Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board, price of mushroom soared by 40 percent to Rs 200 per kg while onion became dearer by 36 percent to Rs 82 per kg on Monday.
“Price, supply and demand of mushroom in the Kalimati market is fluctuating. You don´t know when its demand and supply decline and soar,” Binaya Shrestha, senior planning officer at the board, told Republica. “Irregular supply is the only reason behind huge rise in mushroom prices.”
Shrestha further added that drop in the demand for chicken following bird-flu outbreak has sent the demand for mushroom soaring.
The valley consumes around two tons of mushrooms a day in average. Mushrooms mostly come from farms in Bhaktapur, Kavre, Chitwan and Kathmandu.
A mushroom equipement and training company is open to the cost of starting a farm. It compares to €1200 or $1600 for the complete package. Heavy for an individual, but within reach for a group or a village?
"We are now providing Paddy Straw(Volvariella volvacea or Volvaria volvacea or Agaricus volvaceus) and Oyster(Pleurotus ostreatus) Mushroom spawn technology.
The total expenses for the equipments, accessories and services is INR Rs. 100,000.00 (excluding the delivery expenses). A part from this you have to make some on the site arrangement. We are taking an advance of 60% of the total amount i.e. Rs. 60,000.00 in the form of cheque/DD or organisational account deposit (Bank Acct. details given below). Rest Rs. 40,000.00 and the delivery charges will be paid after the delivery and installation of equipments. Within one week of receiving the advance our experts will move to your area with the equipments and accessories. They will give you details of layout of units, and practically orient you on spawn production. If necessary two of your delegates will be demonstrated and be trained here in Bhubaneswar for two days. after completion of layout and installation, our master trainers will train your personnel on the site for 15 days."
Women comprise the majority of farmers in many rural African communities, but their farming operations are carried out menially with few or no innovations, so they incur a lot of losses and earn very little. Due to religious and socio-cultural dictates, many of the rural societies where these women live frown on close interaction between men and women who are not family members. As a result, male scientists have had difficulties getting rural women to adopt new technologies.
“In communication, people who share similar characteristics also have common meanings and therefore understand each other better,” says Dr. Kolawole Adebayo of the Department of Agricultural Extension at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in Nigeria. “Women scientists stand a better chance of communicating with women farmers.” Professor Yinka Belewu of the University of Ilorin’s Department of Animal Production agrees.
Mushrooms do well in many parts of Kenya but farmers often shy away from the crop because they lack the materials and information they need. However, some interested persons like Ann Kimathi who was tired of working in the hotel industry for the past 11 years opted to give it a try. Taking advantage of the lessons given by the government of mushroom farming, Ann says leaving formal employment to start her own business began as her retirement plan. Lizz Ntonjira visited her make-shift farm and brings us this intriguing story on the weekend feature, Women And Power.
In the famous TED talk given by mycologist Paul Stamets, we explore 6 Ways That Mushrooms Save The World
Mushrooms may be the most overlooked product available to us. With the current problems that our species is facing a solution that can be made widely available in a short amount of time would be beneficial. And according to Paul Stamets there are six ways in which mushrooms can fulfill this role. Besides these benefits, mushrooms neither are difficult to spread nor have high costs.
If Mithi had mozzarella all they would have to do for pizza is add the mushrooms that suddenly sprout after the rains. The fat, white toadstools are nearly as big as oranges when they appear and set in motion a small economic respite for the people of Tharparkar and Umerkot.
Poor Hindu Bheels, Kolhis and Meghwars manage to make a little cash on the side by gathering the mushrooms. They sell them along roadsides on the outskirts of the towns and in the markets. Sometimes the children get creative by stringing a few of them together to try and attract customers. You can buy plastic bags full of them, so fresh that the soil is still clinging to their soft white skin.
After most natural disasters, you see mounds of trash and lots of hungry people. Mushrooms could turn that trash into food. I would watch the news footage after the earthquake in Haiti, or the tsunami in Southeast Asia, and it would just eat away at me. All this devastation, all this trash, and all these hungry people. Yet to mushrooms, all that trash is food. So we could grow food, feed the hungry, clean up the environment and maybe even kickstart a new agricultural sector in the process.
Tradd Cotter is the founder of Mushroom Mountaiin. A mycologist and mushroom cultivation expert from South Carolina, Cotter is pursuing an idea that could bring lasting relief to poor communities and victims of natural disasters around the world. Having built a business on growing — and teaching others to grow — mushrooms on just about any waste biomass he could get his hands on, he became painfully aware that these same techniques could be used to both clean up after natural disasters and create meaningful amounts of fast-growing, plant-based protein in a matter of weeks.
"The way the modern news cycle works, you see a natural disaster on the TV and everyone clammers to help. A few months later, however, the news cameras have moved on to the next story, the aid starts to run out, and these devastated communities are left to pretty much fend for themselves once again. If you dropped me into a disaster zone, I'd have the skills and the spore cultures to start growing food immediately on the trash all around me. But what if I could teach whole communities to do the same"
One of the most overlooked delicacy of high nutritional value is mushrooms. And it doesn't end there; mushrooms are highly marketable and anyone producing them would be eying wealth. Moses Opobo was at Kigali Farms in Gicumbi District to find out the wonders of this fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus.
Like any other crop, mushrooms can (and should) be cultivated. A great deal of people out there are not aware of this simple fact, and the result of this is that we don't really care about mushrooms, knowing them as those things that just sprout from the soil mysteriously in the night.
The overall result of this has been the tendency to view mushrooms as a rich man's meal, or rather a delicacy that one should be content tasting every once in a blue moon. Which is partly true, considering the fact that mushrooms are actually more expensive than beef in Kigali!
It is against this backdrop that the idea of the Kigali Farms was mooted, in late 2009, culminating in its establishment in 2011.
Kigali Farms is easily the largest producer and supplier of fresh and processed mushroom products in the country. It does not only cater to consumer needs though, but is also the biggest supplier of oyster mushroom substrate in the country, which it sells to the ever rising number of mushroom farmers and entrepreneurs. Mushroom substrate is basically a collection of cells that produces the vegetative growth in mushrooms.
The substrate farm is located in Byumba, Gicumbi District, in Northern Province, where the company's 30 employees prepare between five and 10 tonnes of substrate blends every week. These are then pasteurised and inoculated with high quality mushroom spawn, before incubating them for three weeks. The facility has four modern incubation rooms, stacked high with mushroom tubes ready for the market. Each room has a holding capacity of 7,500 tubes.
About 400 small scale farmers in four villages in Mtwara and Lindi regions will receive training on mushroom farming mid this month in a move to create employment for women and youths.
The farmers are from the villages of Narunyu, Luchemi, Mtumbikile and Miumbu.
Institutional coordinator of Amsha Institute for Rural Entrepreneurs East Africa, Biubwa Maingo told The Guardian at the wekend that the seven-day training will be conducted by J&B Group based in Dar es Salaam and would be organised by Amsha Institute.
“At the moment discussion on how to provide the training has been made between Amsha Institute and the group.
The training will be conducted in the farmers’ respective farms so that they can put into practice what they would learn.
During implementation the farmers will be trained how to use paddy husked and maize cobs to cultivate mushroom as a new way of income generation.
“We have decided to train them on this farming because majority of the farmers in these villages still depend on traditional farming system that cannot help them to alleviate poverty in their families,” he said.
“Our main focus will be to help them to shift from traditional farming system and embark on commercial mushroom farming,” he said, noting that this is a new system designed by Amsha Institute to create job opportunities for both youths and women in Tanzania’s rural areas,” she said.
Shiitake, the premium variety of mushrooms being grown only in a few countries such as Japan, China and South Korea, is now ready for cultivation in Indian cities, including Bangalore.
The Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) has developed new strains of this mushroom suitable for cultivation in the country.
Known for their medicinal properties, especially anti-cancer use and cholesterol-reduction ability, these varieties are now available at Rs. 1,200 a kg in Bangalore as they are being imported. “It may cost only about Rs. 50 a kg if we grow them here,” says Dr. Meera Pandey, principal scientist, Mushroom Research Laboratory, IIHR.
Dr. Pandey, who spearheaded the efforts to develop the weather-friendly strains of Shiitake, told The Hindu: “We have not only developed protocols for cultivating this variety in the Indian environment, but also produced the seeds for their cultivation. Those interested can buy these seeds from us if they book in advance.”
Winter is officially over as much as we will continue to have disjointed bouts of cold weather. This has consequencies on the mushroom farm. Here are some.
Expect a higher incidence of flies termites, and rats. The most notorious of these three being mushroom flies. These will proliferate at a higher rate in the warm temperatures ensuing resulting in substantial losses on mushroom farms. For greater detail, consider calling Rockshield Train-A-Farmer for a course. Rats are also notorious. They burrow inside colonized bags and can also damage new crops. Combined with the flies, these pests form a formidable destructive alliance against the farmer. Termites damage will greatly depend on the technology a farmer has deployed for his farm. As well more details are available from our Rockshield Train-A-Farmer Initiative courses.
The Green Mould gets more prevalent in the warm weather, causes great losses to all farmers, big or small. As much as rigorous hygiene is touted by most as the most plausible front against this disease, there are other ways we reveal for start ups at Rockshield. Bacterial Blotch is yet another disease which affects a crop at fruiting, whose incidence favours warm weather. The inky cap with it’s characteristically off white to black colonisation traits is yet another disease to look out for.
Managing the Risk
The vegetative stage of your crop will pause the highest risk, as such more focus is required there. If kitswere available on the market, they would ideally attract a higher price this summer due to the challenges they pause during their production. As well their demand would inevitably rise thus increasing their going price.
Supply and Price trends
Fruit supply will be falling in the next 7 months resulting in prices increasing at the supermarket bays. There is a give and take in this scenario in that the rise in prices will cushion the regular farmer against the seasonal losses. I will not detail the causes for the fall in supply I already did that somewhere What I urge all farmers to do is to innovate strategies that make them robust in face of the weather, and there are a host of these strategies.
Mushroom farmers in the district who were finding the going tough owing to the unavailability of quality spawns, can breathe easy now. The first laboratory that commercially develops and sells mushroom spawns for farmers started putting the seeds up for sale at Perumanna in Kozhikodedistrict on Tuesday.
The laboratory, funded by the district panchayat, was set up a month ago at the Women Industrial Centre building, which is under the Perumanna panchayat. The spawns were prepared in a month-long process and would be available for farmers from the centre, said district panchayat member Dinesh Perumanna, who has been in the forefront of campaigns to create awareness of the wide possibilities of mushroom farming.
According to him, as many as 60 Kudumbasree workers in different units in the panchayat were given training in mushroom cultivation as part of an ongoing Koon Gramam (Mushroom Village) project undertaken by the panchayat in Perumanna to spread the practice in different wards of the panchayat. “We have decided to set up one mushroom production shed each at all the 18 wards,” he said.
In the past, farmers were purchasing spawns from Coimbatore at a high price. “There existed different kinds of exploitations in the field. Traders sometimes sold poor-quality spawns at an exorbitant rates,” said K. Sreedharan, director of the district skill development centre, which is running the spawn laboratory at Perumanna.
ONLY A DICTATOR CAN ACHIVE SUCH SUCSESS (and maybe a visit in photoshop by an over-clever PR-cader?) The news goes like this:
"A North Korean farmer is reportedly cultivating giant mushrooms that weigh up to 20kg each. The news follows Pyongyang leader Kim Jong-un's visit to a mushroom factory last month.
Mun Hye-sun, the farmer, is said to have displayed the cluster of mushrooms at a conference hall in the impoverished country's North Hwanghae province.
Mun, who lives in Sariwon City, is believed to be the centre of attention for his farming techniques and the breeding of giant mushrooms, according to China-based Global Times' report. The report comes without any photographs of the mushrooms.
It is believed North Korean farmers in the area are hoping to adopt Mun's techniques. Mun, who has a degree from an agricultural university, has been working on mushroom-breeding techniques for more than a decade.
Mun's alleged success comes as the country's leader urged farmers to make North Korea a "mushroom kingdom". Kim earlier visited the recently inaugurated Posong mushroom farm, run by the Korean People's Army, to learn about harvesting techniques.
Paul Stamets talks about the fungi that break down and create all soils. He has dozens of patents under his belt related to bioremediation, insecticides, chemical neutralizers, and toxic cleaners. A great talk from TED.com
A group of 24 women from T/A Somba in Blantyre has resolved to invest in Oyster Mushroom production, Malawi News Agency (Mana) has learned.
The move follows an appeal by the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Nasme) to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to join mushroom production, due to its profitability that is driven by its availability of markets.
One of the women Lucy Labana who pioneered the formation of the group and raised K135, 000 to join few Malawians practicing mushroom production due to its lucrativeness that can transform their families' financial stands.
"Most women in our villages practice various small scale businesses that mostly do not yield good profits and when the idea of mushroom production was introduced to us we could not do otherwise, but jump to it," said Labana.