Innovative Oyster Mushroom Farming
The art of mushroom cultivation in Africa especially in Nigeria is still relegated to picking from the bush and due to changes in seasons, its demand is always higher than supply and there is the risk of locals picking poisonous mushrooms for urban consumption. Harvesting of mushrooms from the bush also have the additional risk of locals being bitten by snakes or attacked by various animals in the bush. These and some other factors are some of the reasons why there is a real shortage of this food product in the Nigerian market.
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. It is a good source of protein and unlike red meat and eggs, it has no fat but helps the body in reducing cholesterol level. It also contains essential vitamins that fights against cancerous cell and this makes it ideal for the elderly, vegetarians, weight watchers and basically everybody.
The market for innovative oyster mushroom farming is very huge in Nigeria as Nigerians still depends on nature which cannot provide enough for the growing population and unlike pork meat which is forbidden by Muslims, mushroom has no religion, age or ethnic barrier.
The first phase of my mushroom farming project kicked off in my hometown, Isiala Ngwa South local government, Abia State on the 3rd of October 2016. My family provided initial space for the project. CSAAEINC provided initial funding to enable me purchase about 10 jars of mushroom spawn from Lagos. I sterilized and inoculated the spawn and left them for two weeks for colonization. I made my first harvest early November and every five days thereafter. Materials and facilities used include:
* 2 rooms
* Agricultural waste
* Sanitizers and bottles
* A large pot and polyethylene bags
* A nose mask
Below are some pictures from the first phase of the project