CSAAEINC Completes Oyster Mushroom Farm At FUTO

CSAAEINC just completed the second phase of its oyster mushroom farm at FUTO, by sponsoring her emerging Nigerian leader, Russell Ubazoro. Russell is a fourth-year student of Marine Engineering at FUTO, and is nurtured under the Emerging Leaders Program at CSAAEINC. The innovative oyster project which is estimated to cost about three hundred thousand naira was completed last week.

Russell’s dream for agro-business was hatched as Community Development Project (CDP) under the guidance of the Center for Social Awareness, Advocacy and Ethics Inc. He started thinking of how to grow mushroom not only as food but also as a means for employment for the youth. For him, growing mushroom could provide multi-layers of benefits to the society. It requires simple mechanism that can sustain young men and ladies in their education, and contribute to nourishment through its rich protein content.

Innovative oyster mushroom farming is all about using agricultural waste such as sawdust, maize stalks, dried grasses, leaves etc. to produce edible and organic oyster mushroom by providing the natural conditions needed for the mushrooms to grow in a controlled environment. Oyster mushrooms are food products that can be substituted for meat, eggs, fish, etc. Naturally, mushroom is a good source of protein. Unlike red meat and eggs, mushroom has no fat. It helps the body in reducing cholesterol level. It contains essential vitamins that boost immunity against cancer cells. Mushroom is ideal for the elderly, vegetarians, and weight watchers.

In Nigeria, market demand for oyster mushroom is huge because Nigerians value organic products highly. The consumption of mushrooms cuts across every age. It cooks so fast and is easy to consume as a food for both infant and adult. These are some benefits that Russell has smartly decided to tap into.

It is no surprise that Russell’s innovative agriculture, particularly the innovative oyster mushroom plan has become viable. FUTO, for instance, is one of the reputable colleges in Nigeria. FUTO students come from the different parts of Nigeria which gives the institution a good cultural, social and ethnic outlook. Students would have the opportunity to view and be taught the best way to entrepreneurship in college. Setting up an innovative oyster mushroom on campus is a feat that is rare. It presents both as innovation and a challenge to students to bring fresh ideas in their pursuit.

What makes the difference? Like Mark Zuckerberg, smart kids take advantage of opportunities. FUTO students have been at home due to strike for the past two months. The students demonstrated against an increase in their tuition fees which led to destruction of properties on campus. Consequently, the students were asked to stay home compulsorily until the facilities are repaired and academic activities returned to normalcy. While most of his co-students remain idle and confused at home, Russell is busy designing his innovative oyster project (See pictures attached). He has engaged the services of some friends to get the project going. CSAAEINC is particularly grateful to FUTO Chaplaincy headed by Rev. Fr. Dr. Jude Ike for providing space at no cost to CSAAEINC for the mushroom project. Russell’s target is to develop an agricultural tourist center for FUTO students and professors on their return.

Projects like this deserve overwhelming support. Nigerians need young minds like Russell to bring about change. Through CSAAEINC, Russell and emerging leaders under Emerging Leaders Project, have become proactive in seeking solutions to joblessness, redundancy and corruption. Nigerians need to return to the drawing board and make agriculture a priority. Russell has taken the lead and should be supported. Mushroom was seen initially as an unimportant commodity. Now, mushroom has become a great source of finance and employment, thanks to Russell’s innovation.

To support Russell, call +14438134968, or email gagbagwa@csaaeinc.org.


Vincent Arisukwu