SUNBIZ

Mushrooms To Become Lucrative Business For Western Farmers

Edible mushrooms and other species used to cure illnesses could become a lucrative business for some farmers. The price of edible mushroom hovering right now is around $16 a kilogramme,
30 Jun 2018 10:00
Mushrooms To Become Lucrative Business For Western Farmers
The Pleurotus ostreatus or Oyster mushroom ready for havest at the farm in Nadi. Photo: Charles Chambers

Edible mushrooms and other species used to cure illnesses could become a lucrative business for some farmers.

The price of edible mushroom hovering right now is around $16 a kilogramme, the highest it’s been.

For the Nakovacake yavusa, from Namotomoto Village in Nadi, they have included mushroom planting to their farm and could be looking at increasing the yield.

The fast-growing mushroom can see close to 30 kilograms be harvested in only one square metre.

Waisake Nadore, who looks after the farm said they were planting mushrooms before but left it after the initial advisors from China went back to their country.

Demonstration centre

This time, under the Fiji-China JUNCAO Technology Demonstration Centre at Legalega in Nadi, help has been more forthcoming.

While areas in the central division like Nasole have been yielding good harvests, the story has not been that good in the west.

The difference is the climate where the edible mushrooms grow better in the cool dry season. Similar to that which is being experienced now in Fiji and which last from around end of May to November.

The medicine mushroom grows all year round and is not affected by the heat.

Cooling shed

Lin Zhansen, who is in-charge at the centre said for farmers in the west to increase their mushroom business, a cooling shed to grow the mushrooms was the best option as the western heat was not conducive for growing mushroom.

At the farm in Nadi, Pleurotus Ostreatuus or Oyster mushroom which is for consumption has already seen the sale of one batch to Farmboy company.

Mr Nadore said this mushroom was a far-off to grow, and he was surprised at seeing the plant in the morning and then how it had grown by the afternoon.

The medicine mushroom or Antlers Ganoderma Lucidum planted at the farm is reported to cure some sicknesses including high blood pressure, high sugar and those having cholesterol problems.

“It is easy to grow and takes up to three months to harvest after growing.”

Mr Zhansen said mushroom did not need much land to grow.

The mushroom for medicine is dried and cut up and then boiled and the liquid is consumed.

Expansion

Mr Zhansen said the expansion would be decided by the supply of the plants from the centre and the demand.

“If they like our mushrooms and people buy, then we will need to have consistent supplies to the markets.”

Mr Nadore said there was a cooler at the centre and farms like this one needed to have one.

“If the demand is there we could ask the Government to assist the yavusa with a cooler shed for planting and also look for markets overseas for the mushrooms.”

About Juncao

Juncao technology, a China-Fiji technology cooperation project that enables the cultivation of edible and medicinal fungi by using wild grasses and herbal plants instead of trees or woods.

The Ministry of Agriculture is working closely with the China-Fiji Juncao Technology Cooperation project to intensify the growing of mushroom in Fiji.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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