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How to start Mushroom farming in Nigeria

 


A lot of Nigerians actually see Mushroom farming like an arduous and tiresome venture. Nigeria produces 300 tonnes of Mushrooms per year against a demand of 1200 tonnes according to official statistics from the National Farmers Information Service (NAFIS).  If you look at the production rate it simply means that buyers like homes and hotels have to import from elsewhere as local farmers cannot really sustain the demand, this is really a lucrative business opportunity you can invest in.

Furthermore, mushrooms can grow in almost every part in Nigeria provided there is shelter, a reliable water supply and also a stable temperature that is in the range of 15 to 30 degrees. Below are the steps on how to start mushrooms farming in Nigeria;

1.    Acquire a land: The first step is to acquire a land. From my little experience an 1/8 th acre piece of land would be sufficient to set up a large farm that can produce as much as 2 tonnes of mushrooms after every two months (using shelf-frame method).

2.    Construct a simple house: Once you have acquired a good piece of land, what you have to do is to build a simple mud-house and a few wooden shelves to utilize the vertical space available. You can look for a carpenter around you to help you with this. Just make sure the house is well aerated to allow proper circulation of air.

3.    You need to look for the substrate: One of the most important supplies you will need is the substrate. Actually substrate is basically the substance on which mushrooms grow. This can be Farm or timber waste like rice bran, sawdust, lime, wheat bran etc. Try and make sure this is sterilized as the slightest bacterial infection can really ruin your entire mushroom farm. As at the time of writing this article a bag of sawdust costs #50 and you will need about 50 bags.

4.    You need to invest in nylon bags: Actually you will really need small bags to prepare the seedlings and also big bags for the final planting. The small bags you will need are like the ones shopkeepers use to package 2KG sugar that normally cost about #100 for 200 pieces. While the bigger bags will cost as much as #30 per piece and you will need about 1000 of them in a plot of farm.

5.    You need to invest in good hygiene: Without been told good hygiene is important in a mushroom farm. You need to purchase things like hand gloves, methylated spirit and cotton wool. As at the time of writing this article a box full of gloves costs less than #1,500, same for cotton wool and methylated spirit. Some other things you will need are drinking straws which cost about #1,000 and a knapsack sprayer which cost about #6,500.

6.    Purchase the seeds: To start mushroom farming you need some mushroom seedlings also known as spawns. One of the most popular spawns is called button spawns. You can buy these from FIIRO or DILOMAT. As at the time of writing this post a Kilogram of oyster spawns costs about #2,000. About 5 Kilograms will be sufficient to get you started. Some other varieties of mushrooms you can plant are shiitake and button.

 

Conclusion 

Venturing into mushroom farming in Nigeria is quite cumbersome and labour intensive, but is very profitable. All you actually need to do is to put some effort combine it with what you have learned from this article.


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