Mushroom Farming In Kenya, The Math’s And Profitability
Not many Kenyans today are aware of how profitable mushroom farming can be. It’s a significant investment that just a few of Kenya’s well-informed farmers are making. The demand for the tasty and nutritious fungus is skyrocketing, which means that present supply isn’t even close to meeting demand. This is the most important element influencing mushroom pricing in Kenya.
Mushroom farming has steadily increased and farmers are taking up mushroom farming willingly. While most mushroom farmers set up a mushroom farm in thatched roof systems, there are others, which are much more commercial and go for a concrete structure with a controlled environment, air conditioning, and humidifiers. Nevertheless, Mushroom farming has been very profitable for most farmers, if done right and the farmers are well educated in the process of cultivation.
There are times when mushroom cultivation has been non-profitable for farmers. Most of these farmers who went on a loss lucked proper knowledge or resources attributed to their failures. Unlike traditional crops, Mushroom farming requires a better understanding of humidity, temperature, sanitation, and hygiene among other factors. From seed sowing to creating the growing medium, everything is different from the traditional farming methods. The learning process is different and farmers should be willing to learn.
Profit from the cultivation of mushrooms depends on the variety of mushrooms farmed. Button mushrooms, though in very high demand have a lower price. Fortunately, the shelf life of button mushrooms is much higher than other varieties. Oyster mushrooms have a shelf life of only 2 days.
With a 4-5 Layer set up in a 1000 Square feet area, Expect to grow around 1000 Kilos of mushrooms per cycle. Mushroom can be cultivated throughout the year and depending on variety, you could grow up to 5 Crops a year. An average of 4000 Kilos of mushroom can be cultivated in a 1000 Square feet area, with proper setup. With even 75% as an expense, A farmer can get a decent profit from mushroom cultivation. Most farmers will not require more than 50% in expense.
Because you are using Just 1000 Square feet area of unused or unproductive land to cultivate mushrooms, the margin for mushroom cultivation is extremely high and so is the profit. Mushroom Cultivation is a highly profitable business in Kenya.
Mushroom Farming In Kenya
To begin mushroom cultivation it is important that you have a covered space. A shed or a thatched roof may suffice but the better the construction and roofing, the more control you have on your environment. The area should be chosen based on certain factors including ventilation and lighting and the ability to control both. Water should be available too. Apart from the location, you should also be able to procure good raw materials. Seeds, Compost are key. The best quality seeds and Compost will determine how much you produce per crop. Plastic sheets, Trays, and shelves may require additional investment based on your project.
Some extra gadgets which may be useful and even essential include a room temperature meter, CO2 meter, and humidity monitor. Though these gadgets are not entirely essential, having them will make it easier to make decisions rather than hoping that you are on the right track.
With the infrastructure out of the way, comes the next biggest requirement for mushroom farming Business. Understanding the process. While most crops cultivated outdoors are seasonal, mushrooms, cultivated
indoors are year-round. Knowing how much time it takes for each of the steps in growing mushrooms is important. Proper education at a farm will set your steps ahead. Proper training is available from most farms like Bannie-el Farm in Limuru (0790-509684) at a nominal cost for farmers.
Plenty of other mushroom farmers also provide this information at their farms. These days you can get online courses for Mushroom cultivation too.
Before starting mushroom farming, also check locally on which variety is sold and preferred in the market.
Cost of starting mushroom farming in Kenya 2023
Mushroom Farm House Cost
You’ll need to invest in a few items to get started mushroom farming in Kenya. The first option is a farmhouse, which isn’t necessarily expensive. The shelves and a robust ventilation system will cost you only Ksh. 15,000 to install.
Construction of the farmhouse, equipment purchases, and painting costs total Ksh. 250,000 on a 1/8-acre farm. The prices are lower if you don’t have to create a full mud home and can use an available free room.
You Can Farm Mushrooms Without Having Land Cost
Also, not that you don’t actually need a land to do mushroom farming in Kenya.. It’s a benefit if you have property since you can build a mud home and utilize it to cultivate the mushrooms.
You may, however, do this in your own home or apartment balcony as long as you have a dark, well-ventilated room. Increase the vertical space in the room by adding wooden shelves. If you simply want to eat the mushrooms at home, you may grow them in a cardboard box.
Cost Of Mushroom Spawn
Second, you’ll need to purchase mushroom spawns to raise. You’ll need about 40 kg of mushroom spawns.
Ksh, 600 per kilogram is the selling rate for locally accessible spawns.
Profitability Of Mushroom Farming In Kenya
Mushroom farming profits in Kenya when a farmer may sell one kilogram to a consumer for Ksh. 600, can generate Ksh. 1.2 million in income. Button mushrooms only need two months to develop.
A one-eighth-acre farm can maintain 1000 bags, yielding up to two tons. Ready market for your produce gives you millions of profit.
Mushroom Farm Produce Selling Cost
Mushrooms may be purchased in Kenya at large grocery outlets for between Ksh. 400 and Ksh. 600 per kg. Individual vendors provide a better deal at Ksh. 500 per kg.
Mushroom cultivation is profitable because the compost may be sold once it has been used. For Ksh. 2000, a 50 kilogram bag may be purchased. Nairobi has the largest mushroom demand in Kenya.
Supermarkets can offer high prices to consumers. For instance, during scarcity, Zucchini Supermarket sold a kilo of mushroom for about Ksh. 1,000 and the demand was still higher than the supply.
Tips Before Starting Mushroom Farm In Kenya
1. Do A Prototype Farming
Before going to a larger farm, try mushroom farming trial on a small farm to observe how it goes. You’ll have a higher chance of learning from your mistakes this way.
2. Mushroom Farm Hygiene
Remember to keep your farm tidy to the highest possible quality. A bacterial infection can negatively affect your mushroom harvest.
The substrate must be sterilized under the correct circumstances, otherwise the seeds may wither. Heat-sterilize the substrate before performing the inoculation procedure in a sterile clean environment.
3. Engage Other Mushroom Farmers
Seek guidance from other mushroom growers in the region and study their methods. If you intend to do mushroom farming in Kenya successfully, it is recommended to visit some successful mushroom growers in Kenya.
Learn from their expertise in order to acquire the information and professional guidance on how to produce oyster and button mushrooms.
Besides, you need expert knowledge to be able to handle various processes involved in mushroom farming. It is also a bad idea to handle the whole processes alone.
The processes involved in mushroom production in Kenya include:
- Sourcing supplies
- Mixing & inoculating substrate
- Moving grow bags around
- Harvesting mushrooms
- Delivering to markets
- Composting used substrate
4. Identify Mushroom Market
To minimize disappointments, find a market ahead of time because mushrooms have a short shelf life once picked. In Nairobi and other major cities, there are a lot of individual mushroom purchasers.
The majority of them purchase at wholesale prices and resale to hotels or supermarkets. As a result, we recommend doing a market survey before beginning mushroom manufacturing.
Visit your local vegetable market and ask a few wholesalers if they’d be interested in purchasing the mushrooms once they’ve been harvested. Inquire about the price range at which they are willing to sell.
Mushroom farmers should seek for firms that make dietary supplements from plant extracts if they are doing large-scale farming. Mushrooms, as previously said, are excellent immune enhancers. Send them an email with your contact information through their separate websites.
Whatsapp groups provide a secure venue for promoting your goods. Make a Whatsapp group with your neighbors and keep them updated on when the produce is ready to be sold. To encourage people to prepare mushrooms, share delectable mushroom recipes.
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