The following write up is all abourt Mushroom Business and its Economics.
Introduction to Mushroom Business
Mushroom production is an opportunity for small farmers as this requires small land for this enterprise specialty. In mushroom cultivation, small farmers and new entrepreneurs can extract value from agricultural wastes and food processing by-products that are used as growing media for producing edible fungi. Mushroom is a nutritious delicacy low in fat and sugar contents but rich in many vitamins and minerals. It is an exotic vegetarian food having essential amino acids and proteins along with medicinal properties. Fresh mushrooms have short storage life while dried and packed ones can be durable for few days. Mushroom farming is becoming a popular horticulture product in India and cultivation of mushrooms commercially can be commenced anywhere in the country provided giving its habitat conditions.
Unlike growing plants, mushroom growing is completely different. Farmers must acquire some knowledge about life cycles of fungi before starting the business. This mushroom business farming needs labor, knowledge, planning, continuous monitoring, and one-time capital investment on infrastructure. Growing mushrooms in your backyard garden for your kitchen needs requires less effort but providing in maintaining humidity.
The botanical name of mushroom is BasidiomycotaAgaricomycetes. They are fleshly fungi having a stem, a cap, gills, and having spore-bearing fruiting bodies. For their growth, they depend on organic decaying matter or other plant organisms. There are over 200 species of mushrooms available. However, some of the widely edible species are the button, oyster, shiitake, straw, termitomyces, and Chinese mushrooms. Growing of mushroom species depends on market demand and availability of growth media. Beginners can start cultivating with oyster mushroom as they can grow easily on many substrates.
Benefits of Mushroom
Protein: 19 to 35%
Fat: 1 to 8% (high content of linoleic acids is considered as healthy food).
Vitamins: Vitamin B, Vitamin B2, Miacine, Biotine, Folic Acid, Ascorbic acid, and Vitamin C.
Minerals: Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Sodium, Zinc, Calcium, and Potassium.
Cancer: The growth rate of tumors is suppressed by certain substances that are available in many mushroom species.
Heart and Coronary Diseases: Cholesterol level in serum and liver gets lowered by certain substances present in mushrooms. Medicines like penicillin and other antibiotics come from lower fungi mushrooms.
Body Immunity: Body immunity is boosted by controlling free radicals that will harm body cells and induce cancers. These anti-oxidants that are present in mushrooms protect the body from free radicals.
Herbal Medicine: Ganoderma, the so-called A-One herbal medicine has no side effects that improve body healing ability, increase body healing ability, and maintains healthy body leading to a long life.
Mushroom Business and Market Potential
Mushroom is one delicacy food that can substitute for meat and eggs which is good news for all vegans. Mushrooms have become an important food diet as they are easily digestible, nice aroma, and nice flavor with a special taste. They are also used in soups, pickles, garnishing, and gets along well with other vegetables. Hence the demand is ever growing and gaining popularity in many developing countries. Though it is popular in most developed countries, the consumption rate in India is majorly found in urban and semi-urban regions.
Cultivation Process of Mushrooms Business
To kick start mushroom business and to have successful cultivation; you need a good growing medium, reliable spawn (mushroom seed), right temperature, and right humidity. Compost mix preparation is very important in mushroom cultivation and hence proper guidance with expert advice is recommended. Natural compost is prepared from well rotten dry horse manure.
Compost Preparation in Mushroom Business
Natural Compost in Mushroom Business:
To prepare natural compost that can fill trays of about 14 to 17 of size 100 cm x 50 cm x 15 cm. This requires a mixture of well rotten horse dung which is never exposed to rain of about one tonne, 325 to 350 kg of chopped wheat straw, 25 kg of gypsum, 100 to 110 kg of poultry manure or 3 kg of urea. Mix all these ingredients uniformly on a well cleaned flat concrete floor or at the composting yard. Sprinkle water on the mixture till the straw attains sufficient wetness. When the well-mixed manure attains enough water gather the manure and heaped and cover the heap and leave it for three to four days. After the third day due to the fermentation process, heat is generated giving an odor of ammonia when opened. Repeat the process by turning the heap three to four times after an interval of every three to four days. 25 kg gypsum must be added per tonne in two equal doses on third and fourth turning of the heap and on the final turning, mix 10 ml of malathion in five liters of water and spray over the manure uniformly.
Synthetic Compost in Mushroom Business:
To prepare synthetic compost that can fill trays of about 14 to 17 of size 100 cm x 50 cm x 15 cm. This requires chopped wheat straw of 8 to 20 cm long, 20 kg of rice or wheat bran, 3 kg of ammonium sulphate or calcium ammonium nitrate, 3 kg of urea, 20 kg of gypsum. Sprinkle water on chopped straw till it is sufficiently wet. Mix all these ingredients uniformly on a well cleaned flat concrete floor or in composting yard. Make a pile or heap of the well-mixed mixture. The pile must of one-meter height and one meter wide and up to any length depending upon the availability of space. The pile must be firm but not overpressed or compressed tightly into the mold. This pile must be regularly reopened and mixed uniformly before rearranging the entire pile. First turning must be done on the fourth day, second turning on the eighth day, add 10 kg gypsum on third turning on the twelfth day, add again 10 kg gypsum on fourth turning on sixteenth day, and mix 10 ml of malathion in five liter water (or any other pesticide such as DOT, BHC, or Lindane) and spray over the pile uniformly on the final turning on the twentieth day. At each time while turning the pile, apply adequate water by sprinkling to make up the loss of water due to evaporation.
Preparing Trays with Compost in Mushroom Business:
To have a good cultivation with a good harvest, a farmer has to give more attention to three things and they are good compost, good spawn, and maintaining right humidity and right temperature during the cultivation of mushroom growing period. If anyone of the three or all are not maintained properly there is a partial or complete loss of the crop. The prepared compost must be filled in wooden boxes or trays of size 100 cm x 50 cm x 15 cm. The wooden trays are made of softwood having pegs at the four corners. Compost is filled up to 3 cm below the top of the tray firmly. On the top surface of the compost, mushroom seed (spawn) is scattered. Grain spawn or mushroom seed of about 100 gram is applied for each tray. Apply a thin layer of compost over the scattered grain spawn with compost and cover the trays with newspaper sheets. Sprinkle water over the covered newspaper sheets which helps the trays to have sufficient humidity. Care must be taken not to wet the compost. Arrange the prepared trays in neat rows with the spacing of about 15 to 20 cm and stack trays vertically up to four to five tiers with a spacing of about 15 cm in the room. Do not stack trays vertically till the roof; a space of about one-meter free open space must exist from the top tray and ceiling.
Spawning in Mushroom Business:
Spawning is a process of mixing mushroom seeds with compost in trays is called spawning. There are different ways for spawning:
Spot Spawning in Mushroom Business: In this method, 5 cm deep holes are made at a distance of 20 to 25 cm spacing in the compost. Lumps of spawn are then planted in each hole followed by covering the holes with compost.
Surface Spawning in Mushroom Business: In this method, mushroom seeds or spawn is uniformly scattered on the top surface of the prepared trays with compost. After scattering of spawn the top surface is covered thinly with compost leaving an open space of about 3 cm from the top compost surface and brim of the tray.
Layer Spawning in Mushroom Business: In this method, mushroom seeds are scattered evenly spread across the compost in 3 to 4 layers covered with compost. About 500gm to 750gm of spawn or mushroom seed is used for 100 kg of compost and the mushroom seed is mixed through the whole mass of compost.
Maintain a room temperature of about 23° to 25° C, 90% humidity, and CO2 above normal; with a right temperature and humidity with no fresh air will help achieve a complete spread of mycelium within 2 weeks. During the spawn run period, white cottony mycelium spreads and impregnates through the compost.Each standard tray can be filled with 20 to 30 kg of compost and 100gm of mushroom seed covered with polythene or newspaper sheets. High temperature inside the room might damage the growth of the spawn and low temperature might slower the spawn colonizing.
Casing in Mushroom Business:
To prepare casing soil, soil materials such as peat moss, or a mixture of 4 parts of garden soil with 1 part of sand, or 1 part of well rotten dry dung powder mixed with 1 part of loam soil is used to prepare. Casing soil must be porous and must hold water and with pH in between 7.0 to 7.5 ranges. Once the suitable casing soil is ready, the soil must be pasteurized or sterilized to kill any insects and nematodes. Soil pasteurizing can be achieved by subjecting the soil to 65° to 70° C temperature for 7 to 8 hours. Sterilizing is done either by steaming or treating the soil with formalin solution (formalin 40% diluted in 10-liter water for one cubic meter of casing soil) or 2% formaldehyde and bavistin (75 ppm). This soil pasteurizing or sterilization must be done 15 days before the soil is used for casing. The treated soil is piled into a heap and covered with plastic sheets for 2 days. Frequent turning of soil is carried for about a week which will remove any traces of formalin. As soon as the casing is done the room temperature of 23° to 25° C and humidity of 85% to 90% are maintained for next one week. Once the casing soil is ready, the compost filled trays after complete spawn run period must be covered with a three to four-centimeter layer of casing soil to induce fruiting.
Harvesting in Mushroom Business
Providing favorable conditions such as maintaining temperature about 23° to 28° C in the first week and then 17° to 20° C, providing sufficient moisture to the casing by light spraying two to three times in a day, maintaining humidity about 85% to 90%, and proper ventilation with CO2 concentrations about 0.08% to 0.15% allows an optimum atmosphere for mushroom to grow well. About 15 to 20 days after casing or 35 to 40 days after spawning, the fruit body initials start appearing in the form of pinheads and they will grow one inch or three centimeters developing into button stage in a week. This is a normal size to start mushroom harvesting. By the third week, the first flush of mushrooms can be harvested. Though hand picking is labor intensive but picking up mushrooms by hand from the beds will not damage the heads. It is recommended to harvest by hand for fresh market sale and those that will be preserved for packing can be done mechanically. Pick up mushrooms in a rotating motion from the beds, farmers have to sort them depending on the quality, weight, and size. In a weeks’ time, the farmer can have the second harvest, the second flush of mushrooms will be larger in size but less in quantity than the first harvest. After harvesting the trays must be pasteurized again for the next mushroom cultivation.
Yield in Mushroom Business:
Mushroom caps measuring three to four centimeter are harvesting within two to three weeks from the casing. A farmer can expect a yield about 10 to 15 kg of fresh mushrooms per 100 kg compost while in short method compost preparation, a farmer can expect a yield about 15 to 20 kg per 100 kg compost.
Storage of Mushrooms and Processing in Mushroom Business
Mushrooms are highly perishable and are best consumed fresh. Since they have very limited life and to increase their shelf-life, they must undergo processing. Freshly harvested mushrooms must be washed in cold water and then blanched in boiling water for three to four minutes. Before they are packed they must be dehydrated in a drier this process increases their shelf-life. Most of the commercial farmers pre-treat fresh mushrooms in the brine solution to prevent discoloring. Care should be taken while packing as little moisture at packing will contaminate mushrooms in very less time.
Economics of Mushroom Business
Land and Infrastructure in Mushroom Business:
A small-scale mushroom business can be started in a densely populated suburban region requiring 500 sq. Yard site.
|Site Lease Amountp.a||Rs. 90,000/-|
|Site Infrastructure||Rs. 2,25,000/-|
|Item Particulars||Qty||Cost (Rs.)|
|Steam Jacketed Kettle||1||67,500|
|Trays, forks, tubs, buckets||—||35,000|
|Water Spraying Equipments||—||3,500|
|Exhaust fan, cooler, heater||—||7,500|
Plant and Machinery Required For Mushroom Business:
|Particulars||Nos.||Monthly Salary (Rs.)||Total(Rs.)|
Staff and Labor Requirement For Mushroom Business:
Recurring Expenses In Mushroom Business:
|Item Particulars||Cost (Rs.)|
|Insecticide and Pesticide||3,000|
|Packing Material Stock||25,000|
Project Cost For Mushroom Business:
|Item Particulars||Cost (Rs.)|
|Plant and Machinery||3,40,000|
|Labor and Staff||53,500|
|Monthly Recurring Expenses||1,35,000|
Monthly Expenditure in For Mushroom Business:
|Item Particulars||Cost (Rs.)|
|Site Monthly Lease||7,500|
|Labor and Staff||53,500|
|Monthly Recurring Expenses||1,35,000|
Product Sales Revenue in For Mushroom Business:
The total yield of mushrooms in a month was 500 kg out of which fresh mushroom is sold @ 500 per kg and the remaining is packaged. There are two types of packages: 417 packets of 150 grams is sold at Rs.225 and 250 packets of 250 grams is sold at Rs.375
|Product||Qty (Kg)||Cost (Rs.)|
On an Average, a farmer cultivating mushroom business can get an income about 1 lac per month excluding investment on fixed capital investment. The fixed capital investment can be recovered in 17 months if the farmer spends to repay of Rs. 50,000 p.m. Mushroom growing a business is fruitful and income-oriented by strictly following the mushroom farming technicalities and providing the mushroom growing habitat. This business needs low capital investment (one-time investment) with minimum space along with right care is needed to make a great earning.