How to Start a Mushroom Business in the Philippines
Have you heard of the news in recent years of an entrepreneur who lost everything during a typhoon? Instead of selling everything and going through another business, he continued where he left. He noticed that a patch of mushroom, beautiful and white, was growing during the rainy season. Intrigued, he went to the nearest University to have it examined in order to determine what kind of mushroom it was and how to properly grow it.
Since then, he has made bank from planting and harvesting mushrooms which can now be bought at grocery stores. His determination and perseverance paid off in the end when most would give up.
Mushrooms are usually regarded as a delicacy, not just in the Philippines but in other Asian countries as well. Used for gastronomy and for its medical properties, the mushroom is a jack of all trades sort of vegetable that is not that hard to grow at all!
Although it can be a profitable venture, most Filipinos do not pursue this kind of farming, not because it is expensive (it is not!) but due to the lack of proper knowledge on planting mushrooms and its cultivation.
If you want to know how to start a mushroom business in the Philippines, continue reading to know what you need in order to run a successful mushroom farm!
The equipment needed
The following are just the basic necessities you need in order to grow mushrooms:
Supply of water
Supply of sugar
Banana leaves or dry straws
Mushroom spawn (starter)
Wood for bedding
The above properly allows you to plant mushrooms with ease. While it may seem daunting do not be afraid, these items can be found at your local palengke as well as hardware stores.
Have the required capital
Money required to start a mushroom business in the Philippines
Remember the story at the beginning? You do not need to own a large plot of land in order to run a mushroom business. You would only need it when you are determined to make a bigger production capacity for the future.
The capital you need now would cost around P10,000. This will include 2 laborers with wage included as well as the transportation cost to markets.
Starting a mushroom business can mean a large sum of money for you in less than a month with such a low amount of capital. However, you would need a little information in the science and technology section for mushroom farming. This is the kind of business that needs a little bit of studying in order to understand the nature of the product.
Provide the right environment
Location is very important for any mushroom production. A business in mushroom farming must consider the environment as different types of mushrooms need different kinds of environment. As an example, oyster mushrooms have the most basic of environmental needs that include the humidity, light, proper ventilation, sanitation, and proper temperature.
Pick different types of mushrooms
As said before, different kinds of mushrooms have varying costs of production, and you must consider setting up a budget that depends on the amount of money you have, as well as any consideration for long term investments.
A good starter mushroom variety is the oyster mushroom as they are the easiest to grow among the other types of mushrooms available at the market. As you continue your business, grow other mushrooms like portabello mushrooms or straw mushrooms.
Get a spawn to start your mushroom farm!
A seed to start your mushroom business
A culture of mushrooms can be grown by first acquiring a spawn. You can procure this by either using a culture of your own concoction or by purchasing ready to use spawns from reliable suppliers of mushroom agriculture.
As a word of advice, producing your own culture of spawn is a cheaper option than purchasing them.
Don’t forget the substrate
The substrate is where the mushroom will be cultivated from. This is where the straws from your investment cost will come into play. Mushrooms are cultivated by the numbers using agro-waste that have cellulose and lignin that produces more enzyme that encourages the growth of more mushrooms.
Taking care of your substrate is done through the use of common methods of water treatment (hot), compost fermentation, steam pasteurization, and chemical sterilization.
Take care of your mushroom
Maintain proper temperature and lighting to prevent any insect, bug, disease, or other types of bacteria from infecting the substrate where your mushroom lives. Mushrooms should be harvested before the spore of their bodies are released. Each mushrooms can be harvested by determining the right shape and size of their bodies when mature.
For storage, mushrooms that are freshly harvested should be stored at 0 to 5 Celsius for two weeks maximum. Dried mushrooms, however, are able to be stored for at least 3 to 4 months.
Register your business
Check your local Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about proper mushroom farming regulations. You are required to register your business with the barangay (barangay clearance), BIR office (BIR Certificate), and business permit at the nearest office of their jurisdiction.