By Itoro Paul
Mushroom, or toadstool, is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground, on soil, or on its food source. The standard for the name “mushroom” is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word “mushroom” is most often applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes). How much do you know about mushroom?
✅ Mushroom is a kind of fungi that grows on the soil or on the body of its food.
✅ Mushroom grows usually on decaying tree trunks.
✅ Mushroom is the fleshy part of the fruiting body of a fungus.
Mushroom has three main parts:
✅Gills (lamellae, sing, lamella) – underside of the cap
✅ Mushroom colour is mostly pale gray or white, pale yellow-brown or pale olive-brown.
✅ Mushrooms grow freely in the wilds, forests and bushes.
✅ Mushrooms are as old as man existence on earth.
✅ Mushrooms are found in all continents of the world.
✅ Mushrooms are of types – Edible and non-edible mushrooms.
✅ Mushrooms can be domesticated and planted in gardens and farms.
✅ Mushroom has delicious taste and aroma.
✅ Some mushrooms contain some enzymes that can make a person high.
✅ Mushroom is cultivated for food and medicine.
✅ Mushroom grows best on moist or damp places.
✅ Mushroom can also grow on sawdust.
✅ Mushroom is on a very high demand due to its high nutrients and value.
✅ Mushroom farming is one of the most profitable businesses now in Nigeria.
✅ Mushroom business is not capital intensive but has very high profit margin.
✅ Nigeria produces 300 tons of mushrooms per year against a demand of 1200 tons, according to National Farmers Information Service, NAFIS.
✅ Mushroom farming can start with just N50,000 for a N4 million profit in just 2 months.
✅ Mushroom grows everywhere provided there is shelter, reliable water supply and stable temperature in the range of 15 to 30 degrees.
✅ Mushroom is classified as vegetable in the food world.
✅ There are over 10,000 species of mushrooms in the world.
✅ The edible mushrooms are grouped into 4 categories viz:
In the Raffia zone, mushroom is known as “Udib”.
There are various types of mushroom (udib) in the Raffai zone which are identified by their size, texture, colour and location.
Few known species of mushroom in the Raffia zone include:
✅ Uwa etok oko
But for would-be investors in mushroom business, here are some basic tips you need to know:
✅ Look for the best specie of mushroom on demand.
✅ Look for a piece of land. A 1/8th acre of land can produce 2 tons of mushroom after every 2 months.
✅ Build a simple mud house and a few wooden shelves.
✅ Look for the substrate. Substrate is the substance on which mushrooms grow eg timber waste like sawdust, rice or wheat barn, lime etc
✅ Invest in small Nylon bags for seedlings preparation and big ones for final planting.
✅ Get the seeds known as ‘spawns’.
✅ The most popular and easy to buy spawn are known as ‘button spawn’.
✅ Explore your market option in advance.
✅ It takes less than 40 days for mushrooms to mature.
✅ 1kg of mushroom goes for N2000 average market price.
Economic benefits include:
✅ Cultivated for commercial purposes.
✅ Cultivated as edible food for local markets and home use.
✅ Cultivated as article of trade for pharmaceutical industries.
✅ Used for soups.
✅ Prepared as exotic meals in hotels and restaurants.
✅ Cultivated for canning.
Health benefits of mushroom include:
✅ Fights tumors
✅ Reduces weight
✅ Low in calories
✅ Enhances fertility
✅ Major source of fiber
✅ Fights cardiovascular disease
✅ Decreases risk of high blood pressure