Mushroom farming has been one of the under exploited farms in Ghana. It promises great returns when everything is done the right way.
If you intend to grow mushrooms for commercial purposes or for private consumption, this post is going to give you all the details you need to get started. This guide takes you right from the start to finish.
Things to note about mushroom farming
- It requires little capital
- There is high demand for mushrooms in Ghana. This has made the price always high.
- It can grow on different surfaces: soil and decaying tree trunks.
Steps to start a mushroom farm
Write a business plan
In all the businesses I have ventured into, I always start with a business plan. A mushroom farm business plan is meant to articulate the vision of the farm and serve as a roadmap to the success of the farm.
We have a comprehensive business plan on snail farm. It costs GHC 120. It has all the details you need to know about mushroom farming, especially in Ghana. If you are interested, click the link below.
Choosing a site for the farm
Mushrooms grow in mostly moist and dump places. In other words, mushrooms need a lot of moisture to grow. There should also be adequate shade at the site as mushrooms do not require sunlight and wind.
Take note: Unlike plants, mushrooms do not contain chlorophyll and do not require sunlight to grow.
Choosing a specie
There are several species of mushroom. Not all of them are good for consumption. Some species are toxic and poisonous to the human body. There are four categories of mushrooms:
- Saprotrophic: these types of mushrooms grow on decaying woods, plants and animals. Saprotrophs contain acids and enzymes that help to decompose dead and decaying tissues for their absorption. Examples of this mushrooms are oysters, shiitake, morels, etc.
- Mycorrhizal: This category of mushrooms are difficult to cultivate because of their nature. Mycorrhizal mushrooms have a kind of symbiotic relationship with the trees and plants they grow on.
That is, the mushroom and its host derive mutual benefit from each other.
This is so because, the mushroom weaves its mycelia into the root of the tree or plant.
By so doing, contributes extra moisture and nutrients to the tree, while getting sugars such as glucose from the plant in return.
Examples of Mycorrhizal mushrooms are Chanterelles , and Porcini.
- Endophytic: unlike the above types, this specie is very easy to cultivate. It can be grown in the absence of its host. It partners its host, providing it with nutrients.
- Parasitic: the parasitic mushroom room derives benefits from the host and not vice versa. The host eventually dies due to suffering from infections from the mushroom.
Which mushroom specie is good for farming in Ghana?
Like already said earlier, not all mushrooms are edible, and so not all are suitable for farming. Below is a list of mushrooms that can be farmed in Ghana.
- Chanterelles (Cantharellus Cibarius)
- Shiitake (Letinula Edodes)
- Morels (Morchella Esculenta)
- Oysters (Pleurotus Ostreatus)
Grow the mushrooms
Grow the spawn in the incubation room for 4 to 6 weeks in the dark. Crop the mushroom by transferring them to a room where they are allowed to get some light which stimulates their growth
Harvest the mushroom after three months. Mushrooms are harvested in a 7- to 10-day cycle, but this may be longer or shorter depending on the temperature, humidity, cultivar, and the stage when they are picked. When mature mushrooms are picked, an inhibitor to mushroom development is removed and the next flush moves toward maturity.