It is no longer news that agriculture is now the new gold mine in Nigeria, long live the oil. But to be sincere it is not all the agriculture business that is lucrative, some can even send you back to your village.
The irony is that, the sector that is lucrative people don’t go into it perhaps because of lack of knowledge.
Well we’ve come today with a lucrative yet untapped business idea in agriculture which is Mushroom farming business.
It is a lucrative business that few knows about, they think what is readily available in the bush while do I need to farm it, people rarely eat it.
What an erroneous assumption the mushroom in the bush is not readily available, you can’t get it all year round in fact you can only get it in bulk during the onset of raining season and about consumption believe me a lot of people are dying to taste the succulent and edible fungi to the extent that you can export it.
If you jump into this article and wondering what is it all about, it purpose is to show you how to start mushroom farming business in Nigeria including profitably, cost and challenges, we got it all cover.
Before we will go into it I will like you to take note of the following headings.
What is Mushroom?
Mushroom are fungi that grow on soil and waste material, this waste material serve as food. People in the olden days did not attempt to plant mushroom because of the sophisticated technique require to plant it, so it was left to gathering and luck.
Mushroom contain antioxidant, vitamin and many other nutrient, according to scientist mushroom can help suppress lung, breast and other types of cancer, also it can help reduce weight, in short there is a lot of health benefit from mushroom.
Why you need to start mushroom framing business
If you still doubting the potential of mushroom farming we have collate below point for you
Unlike other farming business, you don’t need a large expense of land in fact you can start in your backyard and expand later which means you don’t need much of capital to start.
Materials are readily available
Material for starting mushroom farming can be getting anywhere in Nigeria and they are cheap; you don’t have to import or spend a lot of money before you buy it.
As I stated above people hardly see mushroom farming as a profitable business, if you go into it you will have less people to compete with and you know what, it is also in high demand.
Advertise mushroom and people will pay huge amount to buy from you and I can’t blame the juicy and meat feeling taste of mushroom is hard to behold.
Fast growth rate
Many thought all agriculture business will take more than 6 month before they can reap the fruit of their labour, of course they are wrong, in mushroom farming by six to seven weeks you will start harvesting it and it will continue for at least 3 month.
You don’t have to make a thousand heaps before you can make profit like other farming business. With nylon and small dark place you can start your business.
You will not even need labour for some time until expansion is needed.
One of the advice we give people in startuppreneur is that, entrepreneur should have a social goal this will help them when the going get though and mushroom farming fit right into it.
If you sell mushroom know that you are helping people, as it is as been proven to have a lot of medicinal value which will be detail below
Medicinal and nutritional effect of mushroom In Nigeria
Aid immune system
Mushroom was discovered to have vitamin B and selenium an antioxidant which help to boost immunity and prevent cell damages.
Mushroom provide protection against cancer by preventing tumor formation
Mushroom help to lower blood pressure
It helps to reduce cholesterol level of the body
Types of mushroom
There a lot of mushroom in Nigeria, but not all is good for consumption some are even poisonous. Below are the types of mushroom in Nigeria
Saprotrophic fungi grow on decaying plant, wood and animal. With the help of enzyme they break the chemical in the decaying object and consume it. Examples of such fungi are
Mycorrhizal are symbiotic fungi which means they give and accept.
They mostly grow on living root and plant, the relationship is such that they provide moisture and nutrient to the plant through their mycelia while they receive glucose in return.
Example of such mushroom is
Endophytic mushroom is like mycorrhizal they also give nutrient to plant while they accept glucose back the only deference is that they can be detach from their host.
Parasitic mushroom are badass, they also relent on their host but instead of giving back they kill the host.
Example of such mushroom are honey fungus, caterpillar, lion’s mane.
But are they all edible?
Of course no! Some are edible while some are not. From the categories of mushroom above we selected the edible mushroom you can plant and they are
- Chanterelles (Cantharellus Cibarious)
- Shiitake (letinula edodes)
- Morels (morchella esculenta)
- Oysters (pleurotus ostreatus)
How to grow Mushroom in Nigeria
There are two common way to grow your mushroom in Nigeria and they are
Grow Mushroom on saw dust or straw (medium)
Grow Mushroom on log of wood (medium)
Steps to Grow mushroom on saw dust
The first step is to get your spawn, saw dust and container ready
Treat the saw dust and container with fumigant, to prevent unwanted microbe
Fumigate the dark room, where you will place your mushroom.
Spread the saw dust in a container; make sure it is spread evenly
Mix the fungi spore (spawn) with the saw dust inside that container
Heat the mixture of the saw dust and spawn; this will let the spawn and sawdust stick together.
Another way to heat is to place it in direct sunlight but not advisable it takes time and you can’t know if the heat is enough.
Cover the mixture with soil and put it in dark room with reduced temperature.
Spray the mixture with water regularly to make it damp and after five to six weeks you can start harvesting your mushroom.
Growing mushroom on logs of wood
This is simple.
Get log of wood read and make sure it is neat bore hole into the log and introduce mushroom spawn and spray it water every day.
Put the log in shade away from sunlight and after five to six weeks you can start harvesting it.
Harvesting of mushroom
Mushroom will be ripe for harvest between 5 to 6 weeks and you must harvest it every 3 to 6 days.
The harvest will continue for 6 month as long as you are wetting it every day. To preserve it dry it in the sun or freeze it.
If you cannot preserve please ensure you sell it hat day because it has a bad shelf life
Raw material needed for mushroom farming business
Below are the raw materials you will need
- Saw dust
- Wheat oval
- Calcium carbonate
- Cotton wool
- Rubber bands
- Mucus spirit
Equipment needed for mushroom production
- Gas cylinder and burner
- Knapsack sprayer
- Table and chairs
- Synthetics ropes
- Razor blades
Niches of mushroom farming business in Nigeria
Above is about mushroom farming this section is the business side of mushroom business but before we go there I want to show you the niches of mushroom farming in Nigeria
Selling of spawn
The job in this niche is to sale mushroom spawn (seed) to farmer. It is lucrative and requires less effort
Selling of mushroom
Here you plant the spawn and sell it to consumer or processor
In this niche you don’t plant or process instead you connect farmer to consumer or processor.
In this niche you process mushroom into product like pickle and ketchups. It is also lucrative.
How to start mushroom farming business in Nigeria
Conduct a feasibility study before you embark on mushroom farming business. Check if there is enough space for you to grow it, is there competitor in your location, are there potential customer in your location.
I want you to know that mushroom business can be profitable in one location and flop in another location. So do you your due diligence before venturing into it.
I will like you to gather more knowledge, not only on how to farm mushroom but the business side of it, in fact you might not farm it, you can be a middle man such that you will bridge the gap between buyer and seller.
Look for someone who is already making money with mushroom business and learn from him or her.
If you are serious about your mushroom business, write business plan that will show your dream and how to get there.
Though the business plan will surely change before the beginning of the second year but it will give some direction.
Below are the sources to get capital for your mushroom business
- Friends and family
- Loan form bank
- Trade credit (buy material and equipment on credit)
Prepare your space, buy equipment, material and start your farm. Don’t forget to fumigate the building and material you want to use to prevent unwanted microorganism.
Marketing is the back bone of any business; you need to take it serious though as mushroom farmer you have advantage in terms of competition since few people engage in mushroom business.
If you do your feasibility study well, you will know your target customer and where to find them. Below are some of the ways to reach your customer
The first people to sell to are those in your link, it is easy to turn them into your advertiser because of the relation they have with you; they will help you tell other people in their link.
The only thing to do here is to sell the type of mushroom they want and like.
Some prefer pure white mushroom usually gotten form saw dust (medium) while some prefer brown mushroom gotten from wood log. Your link will include the following
- Friends and family
- Church or mosque friends
- People in your place of work or where you have worked before
- Your neighbors
Have account on social media like Facebook, Twitter and post picture of mushroom with deferent way of preparing it, before you know it people will start contacting you.
Build a website
There are many people online searching day and night on how to prepare mushroom. If you know how to prepare it create content on it and if you don’t you can research about it and pen down your findings on your blog this will attract visitor to your site and people will start contacting you.
Creating website and content might take you away from farming why don’t you entrust it to use (contact us).
Cost of starting mushroom farming business
The cost depends on your scale of production but for small scale you will need between #30,000 to #50,000 to start your mushroom farm.
Most of the capital will be use in sourcing for material and equipment written above.
Profitability of mushroom business in Nigeria
Mushroom farming is very lucrative according to NAFIS (The National Farmers Information Service) the demand for mushroom in Nigeria is 1200 tons per year and we manage to produce 300 tons.
It is a lucrative business that can fetch you x2 of your capital as profit. I.e. if you start with #50,000 you will get #100,000 as your profit.
Challenges of mushroom business in Nigeria and solution
There is no business without challenges, mushroom business is not left out and they are
Mushroom have a short shelf life if care is not taking you can lose your harvest
Harvest whatever you know you can sell in a day or preserve it by freezing or sun dry it.
Marketing mushroom can be though
If you did not do your feasibility study, marketing will be tough
Join mushroom group, this people will give you lead to sell your mushroom
The mushroom should not be too hot or too cold it will reduce production, since fungi thrive well in warm and humid condition.
Use cooling system such as fan when the temperature rises and cover all the holes in the building when temperature drops to prevent heat escape.
Above is how to start mushroom farming business in Nigeria, you have read and digest it. The next step is to man up start it.
Do not be afraid you will surely get your profit; you can start with as little as #10,000 to see how it works.
Cheers as you start your business. You are moving from wantrepreneur to startuppreneur.
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