Mushrooms as food to a majority of households in Kenya is not a new thing. But mushroom farming I am sure is a concept a majority of us may not be familiar with and as Roussoss Demisse, a mushroom farmer and founder of Delicious Mushrooms puts it. It is one of the cheapest crop to grow,with a lot of benefits. Nutritional and economic alike
Tell us about Delicious Mushrooms, how did it come about?
Delicious Mushrooms is an idea that come to my mind in 2014 while I was doing some research online on modern agriculture in developed countries. As I was going through thousands and thousands of search results, I finally landed an article about mushrooms. I then noted it down in my appointment diary.Thereafter I did a lot of research and consultancy about mushrooms and their availability in Kenya. After a long time of research and analysis, I finally decided that it was a viable venture and drafted a plan for it.
What exactly do you do at Delicious Mushrooms?
At Delicious Mushroom we organically grow mushrooms commonly available in Kenya i.e Oyster and Buttons and do value addition to them like drying, canning or extracting powder. We also offer
consultancy and training to interested persons and organization.
How are mushrooms prepared before eaten?
Mushrooms are prepared in different ways. You must clean and dry them by wiping each mushroom with a damp cloth or with kitchen paper towel and only do this as need to remove dirt and debris. You can also use a special mushroom brush.Avoid washing or soaking mushrooms because they will absorb water if they are soaked and won’t brown during cooking. This will also diminish their subtle flavor.
How much do you need to start mushroom farming in Kenya?
The capital you need to start mushroom farming depend on many factors like the variety to farm, the size of the farm and lastly the availability of some necessary inputs. An 1/8th of an acre is adequate enough to produce 2 tones and will cost you an approximate Ksh 230,000.
What do mushrooms need to grow?
To start mushroom farming you will need mushroom farming structure generally a house,substrate- the substance on which mushrooms grow. This can be forest soil, wheat straw, bean straw, millet straw or even rice straw.You will also need Spawns which are the mushroom seeds and lastly mushroom farming equipment like steaming drums and more.
What does one need to know about mushroom farming before they begin it?
Before starting a mushroom farm, one need only two most important things. The person should invest in learning the skills of mushroom farming by seeking mentorship from farmers who are already doing this to understand what challenges they face. Secondly the person needs to explore their market options in advance to avoid last
minute surprises and disappointments . Lastly it’s advisable to experiment with a small farm before venturing into a big farm.
What are the health benefits of eating mushrooms?
Mushrooms have a lot of health benefits that include relief from high cholesterol levels, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and diabetes. They also help in weight loss and increase the strength of your immune system.
Is the business profitable?
The business is profitable because mushrooms which were viewed as western food are now welcomed by the locals. Mushroom production in Kenya is currently valued at KSh340 million.Due to its lower cost of production and high yielding capacity it presents a good opportunity for small to middle scale farmers. According to NAFIS, Kenya produces 500 tons per anum (of which 476 tons being button) against an annual demand of 1200 tons. What do you think? Are you ready to dabble in the business? Leave your comment and share this piece too