Forty-three farmers, agrepreneurs and OFW attended the training on Mushroom Production, Processing and Spawn Making at Lifebank Foundation – Center for Bayanihan Economics (CBE) on May 27-28, 2019. The two-day training was sponsored and facilitated by Tarlac Agricultural University spearheaded by Ms. Judy M. Soriano; the Federation of Mushroom Growers and Processors Association in Region III, represented by their President, Mr. Drew S. Carillo and the Bulakeño Mushroom Growers and Processors’ Association headed by Mr. Richard S. Reyes.
Mushroom production has long been an industry in the Philippines. This technology gained popularity among farmers and food enthusiasts due to its social, economic, and environmental impact. Mushroom growing requires little space and time, and rice farmers can make use of their rice straws after harvesting. Mushroom can be grown the whole year round provided a good storage of rice straw is prepared. It is in this context that the Center for Bayanihan Economics (CBE) is promoting the mushroom production to the farmers and agrepreneurs to provide a wider opportunity for rice farmers and other growers who have very limited landholdings. CBE is now engaged in mushroom production and processing to share its first-hand experienced and provides more learning to the farmers. CBE aims to raise rice farmers’ income by maximizing the use of farm wastes and urged farmers not to burn rice straws for environmental and economic reasons, and recommending the use of rice straws as substrate or planting medium.
“The project is being implemented nationwide. Here in the region, we are gradually developing mushroom farmers and entrepreneurs who are really willing to go into mushroom enterprise or business. Through the continuous training, we are providing farmers with easy-to-follow and adaptable technologies on mushroom growing. No big investment is needed to jumpstart in this kind of profitable livelihood,” Mr. Drew Carillo explained. “We make sure that we impart learning and motivation to our clients—be it a farmer or a professional to venture in mushroom production. We give lectures and actual demo on the mass production of mushroom through tissue culture technology. We train them on how to produce quality spawns, pure culture, and fruiting bags” according to Mr. Drew.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) explains that mushrooms are a good source of vitamin B, C and D, including niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and folate, and various minerals including potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper. They provide carbohydrates, but are low in fat and fiber. Mushrooms are usually regarded as a delicacy, not just in the Philippines but also in other countries. Used for gastronomy and for its medical properties, the mushroom is a versatile food and a healthier alternative to meat. It was proven during the training where an array of our favorite dishes were produced using the mushroom – the mushroom tocino, mushroom tapa, mushroom sisig, mushroom shawarma, mushroom burger patties, mushroom puto pao, dumpling mushroom, mushroom polvoron and mushroom chicharon – and there are lot of meals and delicacies that could be substituted with mushroom according to our speakers.
The following are the procedures undertaken prior to the production of fresh Oyster mushroom:
First, the mother culture and spawn grains were prepared. A small tissue of oyster mushroom was inoculated into prepared potato dextrose agar. This was incubated to allow the growth of mycelia on the top of the media. After 1 to 2 weeks of incubation, a small cut of the pure culture was transferred or inoculated into a bottle containing sterilized grains like sorghum or corn to multiply the culture and for easier inoculation into the substrate bags.
The second phase involved the preparation of substrate bags. Rice straws were mixed with other ingredients like lime and rice bran in proportionate ratios. The mixture was placed in a polypropylene bag and pasteurized by steaming.
In the third phase, the prepared spawn grain was further inoculated into the steamed bags in a clean and sanitized room. This was then incubated for about 15 to 20 days before being hung in the growing house.
Finally, the growing house was kept clean to prevent contamination of the fruiting bags. Regular watering was done to maintain moisture in the bags for the growth and development of oyster mushroom. ###