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Mushroom farming in Kenya: Step by step guide on how to grow Oyster mushrooms by Sharon Waswa

Oyster Mushrooms: Step by step guide by Sharon Waswa.  

Small holder mushroom farmers can get up to three times the return on their investment if they ensure production costs remain low.

How to do Mushroom farming in Kenya: step by step guide

Sharon is an agribusiness professional, and a farmer. She is the co-founder of Tamu Oyster Mushrooms located in Eldoret. She takes us through, step by step, how to grow oyster mushrooms.

Mushroom farming is one the most profitable agricultural ventures regardless of scale. Small holder mushroom farmers can get up to three times the return on their investment if they ensure production costs remain low and they get their pricing correct.

Tamu Oyster mushrooms focuses on growing and distributing oyster mushrooms in either fresh, dry or powder form in Kenya. Currently their products are available in Nairobi, Machakos, Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia counties.

The farm begun their first production in 2015 and five years later, they have grown from supplying one retail store to over 10 shops.  Sharon, one of the proprietors of the business takes us through a brief step by step on how to begin growing oyster mushrooms. (Youtube video)

Step 1: Substrate preparation

Substrate used to grow oyster mushrooms vary. A lot of agricultural waste can be used to grow this fungi. In this case, bagasse (a byproduct of sugar production), wheat straw and saw dust are used as substrate. Other additives to the substrate include wheat bran, molasses, water, lime and sodium hypochlorite which is used to sterilize the substrate. The substrate is mixed and packed into bags which are steamed and left to cool.

Step 2: Spawning/Planting

Mushroom "seeds" are referred to as spawn. Getting good quality spawn consistently continues to be a challenge for small scale mushroom farmers. This process involves opening the bags, introducing spawn, light mixing and closing the bags. the bags are then put in a dark room for approximately 30 days.

Step 3: Fruiting

Once the bag is completely colonized, the bags are transferred to a fruiting room. where misting occurs daily and mushrooms are harvested.


Oyster Mushrooms: Step by step guide by Sharon Waswa.
Oyster mushroom in fruiting room
Oyster Mushrooms: Step by step guide by Sharon Waswa.
Packaged and ready for sale   
                                                   
Just a month from the first process, a farmer can start to rake in profits. Tamu Oyster mushrooms endeavors to grow, and is always seeking investors to enable up-scaling and empowerment of other small holder farmers.

For more information on training, investment, contact Sharon on Twitter @nita_sharon

Watch the full guide on Youtube

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