In recent days mushroom farming in Kenya has gained momentum as people continue to discover the economic and nutrients importance of mushrooms.
Before one starts mushroom farming it’s a must to get some training. Knowing how to do mushroom farming in Kenya will actually be of assistance as the crop cannot just be grown in ordinary circumstances like any other crop.
Mushroom farming in Kenya
Below we look at tips on how to grow mushrooms.
Things needed to grow mushrooms
- Mushroom house
This house does not need to be sophisticated but there vital things that need to be considered like the temperature and humidity. Temperature inside the mushroom house should not exceed 25-27c and the humidity level should range between 80-83%. A simple way to maintain temperature cheaply by putting papyrus mats beneath the iron sheets. In places where it’s difficult to get the papyrus one can place dried banana stems, dry maize plants etc. To further maintain the temperature put a polythene lining on the ceiling. Light does not need to completely blocked out hence a simple net can be put on the windows to assist air circulation.
- Mushroom seeds or spawn
Mushroom seeds can be purchased locally and one kilogram is approximately Kshs 500/=. One kilogram of mushroom seeds can harvest ten kilogram. The unique thing about mushrooms is that they cannot be grown directly to the soil, one will need substrate. Substrate is basically a surface or material which is treated agricultural waste. A simple way to make a substrate is by getting husk from wheat husk, rice husk, beans remains, dry banana leaves, ground nuts, coffee waste or the fibrous material that remains once sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice. After getting available remains to use as substrate mix it with molasses, in the case of sugar and sorghum bagasse you can add bean straw. In addition to addition of molasses you need to kill any micro-organism in the substrate. To do this you can opt to the above mixture in a tight polythene bag and boil it in a clean container for forty-five minutes. After boiling place the substrate place it in sterilised place (sterilisation can be done using spirit) and mix in the mushroom spawn or seeds. Place the mixture in polythene tubes or a gunny sacks.
Harvesting mushroom in Kenya
Its takes around 6 weeks to harvest for the first time, for the next three months you can harvest the mushrooms weekly.
Places where you can be trained to do mushroom farming in Kenya
To know how to carryout mushrooms one can get training from individuals, certified institution and NGOs. Easy internet search of the same issue will bring several contacts. The precise institution to get the training is Jomo Kenyatta University Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). The training charges range depending on each individual but mostly it’s between Kshs 10,000-30,000/=.
Finding market for mushrooms in Kenya
To get market for mushroom in Kenya one do online marketing through social media or contact several groceries or restaurants where in most cases the demand is higher that supply. One thing that is clear is that Kenya is yet to meet the demand of mushrooms. Demand is still high even for exportation hence a mushroom farmer will not lack market for the produce.
Expected profits from mushroom farming
One kilogram of mushrooms spawn is 500, with good environment the expected harvest could be 10 kilograms and each kilo goes for 400-600 shillings. This high-profit margin means that one will take a shorter time to break even and eventually make profits
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