Banuyo, Gasan, Marinduque – Twenty farmers belonging to the Balita Multi-Purpose Cooperative are grateful for the mushroom production training sponsored by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to help increase their household income.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Isagani Placido said the Department commissioned the services and expertise of the Marinduque State College (MSC) technical staff to facilitate the training. The farmers were trained on bed preparation, casing, pasteurisation, sterilization and spawning.
“The farmer-participants, who are mostly women, will surely earn additional income because there is a growing market for mushrooms. Also, the mushrooms can be cultivated all year round,” Placido said.
Prior to the training, Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Cita Asedillo consulted with the experts from MSC and found out that coconut peat (coconut fiber) can be used to cultivate mushrooms.
“It’s hitting two birds with one stone. While the Balita MPC is earning from their coco coir products, they will earn additional income from mushroom production using coco peat which they also produce,” Asedillo said.
According to Asedillo, the chosen mushroom species for the training was milky mushroom because it is suitable for hot humid areas and can be cultivated indoor in high temperature between 25-35O °C.
Mushroom expert Harvey Dulay of MSC said, “The cultivation technology is very simple and involves less cost. No special compost is needed for the cultivation and is harvestable within 45 to 50 days of one crop cycle.”
“Every mushroom fruiting bag that weighs 1 kilogram usually gives an average yield of 900 grams with a farm gate price of P80 per kilo. Most importantly, the milky mushroom has an extended shelf life of 3-5 days compared to other cultivated species, making it easier to handle, transport and store,” explains Dulay.
During the training, the farmer-participants were able to produce 100 mushroom fruiting bags where it yielded 90 kilos of fresh milky mushrooms.
Farmer Juan M. Perlas said, “Napakalaking tulong po sa amin ang pagsasanay na ito sa mushroom production sapagkat bukod po sa napakagaan ng teknolohiyang ito para sa mga kababaihan ay malaki ang maidadagdag nito sa aming kita.”
The two-day training was held on April 19-20, 2016 at the BALITA MPC Coco Coir Processing Center.