Over the years, mushroom has been gradually securing a place in our diet chart. It’s healthy and tasty option that comes with many nutritional benefits. A variety of mushrooms are available but all are not safe to eat. Edible mushrooms have considered as the high value crop because of its acceptance by a large number of people worldwide. It is quite usual that mushroom farming is a feasible business opportunity that yields a good profit within a short period of time. Do you have interest in farming? No matter if you have a shortage of funds and little knowledge about mushroom farming but it is still the best option for you.
Mushroom Farming Market Trends
The market for quality mushrooms is very promising as their popularity is increasing day after day. A great number of people have been consuming processed mushrooms as they are fat-free and cholesterol-free food products containing various powerful nutrients like potassium, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D etc. This is one of the key reasons of the growing market of mushrooms. There is a great demand for button, shiitake and oyster mushrooms. Among them, shiitake mushrooms are expected to grow at a faster rate in between the year 2014-2019 but the button mushrooms will have the largest market globally.
If you are starting out as a small grower, oyster mushrooms should be your first choice as it has huge popularity and potential market. Moreover, it grows very fast, only six weeks are required to harvest the product. So, you need not to commit full-time in growing mushrooms for profit. It is also true that mushroom farming is not meant for everyone, it requires a capability and vigilant attention to the significant cultural facts. Big farm is not necessary to commence the business; you can start your mushroom farming business in small farm with low start-up.
Steps of Starting Mushroom Farming Business
Even if you are aware of starting a business, but still you have to follow some steps in order to successfully start this mushroom farming business. Some of the important steps are as follows:
1. Research and Study
First of all, you have to do a lot of research and study before starting the mushroom farming business. You are required to gather adequate information related to this trade. You can either consult a person or a farmer who is already in this business or you may read material that is available on the online websites or in the library.
2. Decide Your Business Scale
Now next step is to decide that on what level you want to start this mushroom farming business i.e. on a large scale or small scale. If you desire to begin it on a large scale, then you have to think big and invest more but if you want to start it on a small scale then there is no requirement of huge funds in the beginning. However, your ultimate aim must be to expand your business in the coming years with more and more customers.
3. Choose a Suitable Location
You need to select such a suitable location where you can control the environmental conditions such as humidity, light and temperature. From start to harvest, mushrooms need all those three factors but in varying amounts. You can purchase an old poultry farm or may utilize your garage, shed or even an unused room in your house. The farm must be tidy, hygienic and clean so that you can grow your mushrooms in the required environmental conditions. It should also be far from the traffic of the roads also so that they can be kept away from the direct effect of the polluted air. Cleanliness is essential to get a larger yield.
4. Buy the Essential Tools
After buying the land, it is quite important to buy the essential tools related to the mushroom farming business. These tools can be comprised of the mush comb, parking lorry, compost hopper, fertilizers, and some other equipment. When you have all the significant tools in your farm, this will give an overall impact on the productivity of your mushroom farming business.
5. Follow all the Relevant Farming Instructions
If you want to successfully grow the mushrooms in your farm, then it is quite important that you follow all the cultivation rules related to this farming business. There are certain steps that are required to be followed adequately so that you do not bear any kind of loss during the mushroom farming. The steps are as follows.
- Obtain Spawn and Substrate: For starting culture, first you need to obtain the spawn. You can get it by producing of your own using a sterile culture otherwise you have to buy ready-to-inoculate spawns from the suppliers. If your plan is start this business at a large scale, then producing spawns will be favorable but it would increase your start-up expenses. Substrate is another important thing that you need to purchase for mushroom farming. You can buy paddy or wheat straw if you want to produce oyster mushrooms commercially. For shiitake mushrooms, hardwood sawdust is ideal.
- Sterilize the Substrate: For preparation of the substrate, you need to chop up the straw into little pieces and then wet all of them. Now it is time to provide them hot water treatment. Next, spread it over the clean surface for cooling down. Now it is sterilized and ready to mix with the spawn.
- Place the Spawn-Substrate Mixture in to Plastic Bags: At this stage, the spawn-substrate mixture is filled in the special plastic bags for growing.
- Incubation: The spawn bags are placed in to the dark room where natural lights can’t be entered. The temperature of the room should be around 78°F. When you arrive the room for checking the bags, you should use a special darkroom light
- Fruiting: When there are any pinhead mushrooms near the hole, then it’s time to move the bags in the fruiting area. At this stage, humidity and the amount of light should be controlled at a high rate so that it may accelerate fruiting. Finally, the bags are sliced, which helps to grow the mushrooms in harvesting size.
- Harvesting the Fruits: Mushrooms become visible as “flushes”. When you notice the largest flush, then you can harvest your mushrooms for the first time. The first flush is the biggest and gives you the major yield.
6. Helping Hand
Whatever kind of business you do, you always need a helping hand in it and same is in the case of mushroom farming business. You alone cannot do everything alone in this business even if it is on a small scale. You must have to hire some workers or employees for your help. The employees must be experienced and possess a good knowledge about mushroom farming.
7. Promote your Business
The final and concluding step is to promote your mushroom farming business so that people can become aware of it. Sometimes, you can get a deal in advance and then you do not have to worry about the harvested mushrooms. Restaurants and eateries often need fresh mushrooms, so you can make a nice profit by selling your crop to them. You may contact supermarkets and grocery stores to wholesale your product. People who are engaged in import and export business may be interested to buy exotic mushrooms. You may speak to them to delivery your entire lot of mushrooms at the reasonable price. This also helps you in making them your long term clients.
So, if you follow all the above steps carefully and seriously. Then you will surely get a good profit in the mushroom farming business. But, you must concentrate on doing more hard work in order to expand your business to the next level. This can be done by exploring more ways to make your business better.