🍄Mushroom farming may seem like an arduous and tiresome venture, but if you look closely there is something quite attractive about it.
Step 1:
🍄Getting Started Of course, you need some land to plant your mushroom crop. A 1/8 th acre piece of land would be adequate to set up a large farm that can produce as much as 2 tonnes of mushrooms after every 2 months (using shelf-frame method).
Step 2:
🍄Build a Simple House Once you have secured a good piece of land, you will need to build a simple mud-house and a few wooden shelves to utilize the vertical space available. Your local carpenter can help you with this and you can improvise on locally available materials to save on construction cost. (Note: Make sure the house is well aerated to allow proper circulation of air).
Step 3:
🍄Look for the substrate The first and most important supply you will need is the substrate. Substrate is basically the substance on which mushrooms grow. This can be forest soil, wheat straw, bean straw, millet straw or even rice straw. Make sure this is sterilized as the slightest bacterial infection can ruin your entire farm.
Step 4:
🍄Invest In Nylon Bags You will need small bags to prepare the seedlings and also big bags for the final planting.
Step 5:
🍄Invest In Good Hygiene As you will discover through farm training courses, good hygiene is important in a mushroom farm. You will therefore need to buy things like hand gloves, methylated spirit and cotton wool. A box full of gloves does not cost much same for methylated spirit and cotton wool. Other additional supplies that may be needed include drinking straws and a knapsack sprayer
Step 6:
🍄Now Get The Seeds Finally you will require some mushroom seedlings (also known as spawns). The most popular (and easy to market) spawns are called button spawns. 5 Kilograms will be enough to get you started. Other varieties of mushrooms you can plant including: shiitake and oyster.
The Dos:
👉Keep the growing environment clean and sterile always
👉 It‘s advisable to experiment with a small farm before venturing into a big farm
👉 Consult an agriculture extension officer in your area for further advice
👉Seek mentorship from farmers who are already doing this to understand what challenges they face
👉Explore your market options in advance to avoid last minute surprises and disappointments
The Don’ts:
👉Don‘t take shortcuts, mushrooms are very delicate crops and you can lose your entire investment if you don‘t follow professional advice in handling them
👉 Don‘t buy seeds (spawns) from cheaper sources, always buy from reputable sellers
👉Don‘t forget that cleanliness is at the center of your farm‘s productivity (again, and again)
👉Don‘t be in a rush, take your time, like in any other business mushrooms take time to establish
👉Don‘t stop learning, keep researching and keep enquiring to learn the best practices

Having an agribusiness question? Do you know of a successful agribusiness venture or story that you wish to share? I would like to hear from you. Send me the TIP(s) at mkulimatoday@gmail.com

Like and follow MkulimaTODAY on Facebook | twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Group share this article and leave comments or questions or WhatsApp me +254700761190 on what you would like me to answer in the next article.