Mini Farming: Mushrooms grow fast and bring quick returns
Posted Wednesday, February 6 2013 at 00:00
Mushrooms are some of the crops that have been taken on under modern farming in a bid to alleviate poverty and improve livelihoods of Ugandans. This has seen many farmers adopt musnroom farming.
One of them is Nalongo Justine Mulinda, a mushroom grower in Lubanyi Village, Buikwe District, who is happy to she chose this type of farming. In a month, she says, she can reap 50 kilogrammes of mushrooms after drying them.
Inspiration from neighbour
“I sell each kilogramme of fresh mushrooms at Shs3,500 and the dried ones at Shs3,000. Mushrooms are some of the indigenous crops that one can grow and get quick returns. That is why I took it on,” Mulinda says.
Another farmer, Richard Kikonyogo, a resident of Kagala Village, Goma Division in Mukono District, decided to grow mushrooms in a modern way. He is planning to expand his farm to grow them on a larger scale.
He says that his inspiration came from one of his neighbours, Florence Nantamu, whose life had changed through the same activity.
Kikonyogo adds that he sought for advice from her and later attended Naads training sessions carried out in the district which encouraged him to take on growing mushrooms.
“The business has some challenges like any other especially when starting but all that I ignored and focused on the end results. Good enough, they grow quickly, which enables one to get quick returns,” he says.
But he sells them when they are still fresh and each mug goes for Shs2,000.
Mr Geofrey Bisso, the Naads Coordinator in Goma Division, says if one is to reap big from mushrooms, he/she must have enough cotton wool and a dark place, which is cold to allow them grow well.
Each sack of cotton wool is about Shs15,000 and a bottle of mushroom seed is at Shs2,000.
Bisso explains that to grow mushrooms, one gets cotton wool and dips it in hot water to kill the pests in it first.
“After cooling, mix in about three kilogrammes of maize bran to add nutrients for the mushrooms to grow on. Then, get black polythene bags where you put three plates of cotton wool mixed with maize bran in each bag”.
Adding: “Remove the mushroom seeds from the bottle. Spread them on the cotton wool in the polytyhene bag and mix. After that, tie the polythene bag tightly and put some holes all over each bag for them to penetrate when growing.”
Bisso notes that putting holes on the polythene bags also allows water to easily penetrate into them when watering. After this, put them in dark room or place, which is cold to avoid heat which affects them.
“Once this is done, within 14 days, one is ready to start harvesting. After every two days one continues to harvest from the same plant for about two months. Other than eating them at home, there is also high demand for them on the market,” Bisso says.