The Managing Director, Jovana Farms and animal farm consultant, Prince Arinze Onebunne has expressed his passion for mushroom farming traceable to his childhood, where as a young boy hunted mushroom as a source of protein for his family.
And now according to him has turned the passion into a commercial enterprise where he now cultivates mushroom in his backyard for profit making. Beginning with few oyster mushroom seeds, he said, our mushroom farm is using modern methods to produce edible mushroom for individuals and hotels.
“Few years later our farm began to produce large quantity of fresh/dried mushrooms for sales ready for consumption, spraying equipment for mushroom farming, mushroom bags and seeds for farmers.
Today, Onebunne said, “we now supply fresh and dried mushrooms to restaurants, top class hotels and eateries; the manure for fertilizer to horticulturists and the bags and seeds to intending farmers. We hope eventually to connect with local healthy food market”.
“This is a huge improvement over traditional small-scale vegetable farming, which is inefficient and unsustainable in the long run. Besides growing mushrooms, we have embarked on nationwide seminars on profitable oyster mushroom farming to get more Nigerians involved in this new lucrative business.
The seminar is a platform for sharing knowledge with intending and old farmers to help them upgrade farming methods and grow. However, the primary objective is to bring this golden opportunity to the door step of every Nigerian as a very sure and potent means of conquering poverty, he said.
“Despite its great potentials to generate income and improve nutrition for 180 million Nigerians, the mushroom industry in Nigeria is characterized by insufficient farmers, modern laboratory, drying equipment and, above all, difficult access to finance, and this is one of the reasons why banks should be with mushroom producers.
Moreso, demand for mushroom is hugely and increasing rapidly and appears to be one of the markets worth investing in. Nowadays, health conscious people are avoiding red meat like plague and this has boosted the mushroom market. Hotels, supermarkets, and a growing number of individuals are buying.
So, the mushroom market continues to expand. Mushroom is known to contain low cholesterol and fats, and it contains multiple vitamins that nourishes the human body and helps us live longer. The great thing about mushroom is that you can grow it everywhere! In your backyard, kitchen, and even in the parking store, even if you are a tenant.
Moreover, a bank will not have to wait too long to recover its money. Any investment can be recouped within 3 months. As a mushroom farmer, I will not come and tell the bank, ‘I don’t have money to buy food for my mushrooms’ and you don’t need rain to grow mushrooms and it doesn’t even need chlorophyll! So risk is very minimal.
For all these reasons, Banks should be with us.” However, my hope is that this project becomes the nucleus of an emerging industry. I plan to entice others to form a commercial mushroom growers association to lay the industry’s foundation.
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