What You Need to Know to Start Mushroom Farming in Kenya
Mushroom farming in Kenya is arguably one of the most profitable yet capital friendly types of farming and I will explain why. Let’s take greenhouse farming as an example. A typical 8 by 15 greenhouse from a reputable supplier costs a minimum of sh130,000. This is without the seeds, labor, water tank, drip lines and maintenance costs. This figure could easily double or even triple after everything has been accounted for. At the end of the day, this figure could make lock out a lot of middle income earners.
To start growing mushrooms you will need a structure preferably a permanent one. This is to create a good environment for the mushrooms. They Need humidity and protection from harsh weather conditions. Secondly you will need to purchase the mushroom spawns which you will grow. They are available locally, usually imported from reputed brands like Sylvan in South Africa. The spawns are costly at around 4,000 Ksh per Kilo.
Treatment of the compost
comes next and this is done using steam in large scale production but in small scale mushroom farming in Kenya you can use a combination of the chemicals atom and diazonal. Quantities to be used depend on the quantity of the wheat straw you have. The mixture of chemicals is sprayed onto the wheat straw.
At this stage you have all the necessary requirements to grow your spawn. What you need is now the growing paper which is available from many polythene shops countrywide.
Now it is time to plant. Begin by mixing the straw and spawns then packing them into the growing paper. Proceed to put them in a closed room or structure away from direct sunlight and other pollutants. Ensure that you monitor temperature in the growing bag to be around 32o Celsius. Wait for 10 to 14 days for the spawns to come up.
Once the spawns are visible as white grainy particles on the growing bag add about 2 inches of good soil onto the growing bag. It is important at this stage to introduce humidity into the room. You can do this using a humidifier or using a knapsack and ordinary clean water. Spray the air around the room and also the floors and wall using the knapsack ensuring the water comes out as a jet of mist.
The humidity is important to stimulate the mushrooms growing. After 10 or 14 days depending on how long it took for the spawns to come up the mushrooms will be ready for harvesting. The mushrooms will be harvested for one and a half month. Starting mushroom farming in Kenya or any other place is now easy as it sounds.