Mushroom farming in Nigeria is currently far from being the most common agricultural business in the country, but this situation is about to change. As more and more people realize the financial potential of mushroom farming, this industry will grow significantly. Find out how to start mushroom farming in Nigeria!
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1. Why mushroom farming?
Since farming mushrooms is a relatively new business in Nigeria, some people still don’t see it as a viable alternative to other branches of agriculture. However, there are many reasons why can expect your mushroom farming business in Nigeria to be a huge success:
- It’s surprisingly easy to start farming mushrooms. If you don’t have a huge budget to invest in your startup, you can start your mushroom-growing business with as little as ₦25,000 and do it in your own home.
- Mushrooms have great marketing potential. Today mushrooms are commonly sold in markets and grocery stores, but they are also very popular among restaurants and hotels, especially the ones with big numbers of foreign guests.
- Mushroom farming is one of the fastest agricultural businesses in Nigeria. With some types of mushrooms, you can get your first harvest in as little as 30-40 days.
2. How profitable is mushroom farming in Nigeria?
Growing mushrooms is known among farmers as an exceptionally profitable business with a high ROI, but how much exactly can you make with a mushroom farm?
As an example, let’s take oyster mushrooms. With initial expenses around ₦100,000, which include establishing a mushroom farm on your own property and buying 50 bags of oyster mushroom spawns, you can expect the first harvest in about 40 days.
With 50 bags of spawns, your harvest can be as big as 1 ton of oyster mushrooms, provided that you do everything right. Each kilogram of oyster mushrooms retails for around ₦2,000, which means that you can get up to ₦2 million in profit from a single medium-sized mushroom farm.
3. What do you need to start?
Even though commercial mushroom farming in Nigeria is a relatively easy agricultural business to start, it will still require a serious approach. Here are the steps to establishing your first ever mushroom farm.
- Choose the best type of mushrooms for your business. Research everything about the mushrooms, from how long they take to harvest to their shelf life. For Nigerian farmers, the most popular options are oyster mushrooms, morel mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and cremini mushrooms.
- Arrange a farm for growing the mushrooms. Again, you can do it in your home or rent out a piece of land. However, there are several conditions to consider when choosing the right place. It should have a cool temperature that is achieved by using air conditioning and high humidity ensured by an air humidifier.
- It’s best to plant the mushroom seedlings, which you can buy from local farmers, into special soil called substrate. Moreover, today you can find a substrate that already contains mushroom seedlings if you want to minimize your work in establishing a farm.
- It’s very difficult to manage your mushroom farm on your own. Even for a small farm where you plan to do most of the work by yourself, you will need a second pair of hands. It can be a family member or a diligent worker you hire.
- Wait for your mushroom farm to produce its first harvest. Typically, you can expect up to three harvests from the same substrate formation, although each new harvest will be smaller than the previous one.
- Consider the storage and transportation for your mushrooms. Some mushrooms, including oyster mushrooms, have just a 1-week shelf life, which means they need to be sold immediately after harvesting. The best idea here is to sell mushrooms in bulk to corporate buyers, but you can also try your luck with distributing them in a local market.
- Once the substrate produces three harvests of mushrooms, it is time to discard it and buy a new one using the profits from your sales.
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