Enormous potential of mushroom production harnessed in CamSur
By Ma. Edelyn Bongalos PILI, Camarines Sur --- With the increasing number of mushroom growers and adopters in Bicol, it is no surprise that mushroom production is gaining an ever widening popularity in the region. Last March 7-9, 2018, the Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center V-Bicol (ATI-RTC5) with the Provincial Agriculture Office (OPA) of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur and Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office V (DA-RFO5) spearheaded a 3-day training on Mushroom Production and Processing for Farmers and Rural Women of Camaligan, Camarines Sur. This is to help them improve their knowledge and skills on mushroom production and to popularize the consumption and production of cultured mushrooms. As it stands, edible mushrooms or Kurakding for Bicolanos is a type of fungi. However, because it stimulates and improves the human immune system like vegetables and because mushrooms taste like cooked meat, they are considered the “meat of the vegetable world.” According to Mr. Pedro Oliver, the Mushroom Project Focal Person of the DA-RFO5 “Mushrooms are relatively high in protein, averaging to 19.35% and is low in fat, which is only between 0.3 and 0.2%. Further, it also contributes vitamins, minerals, fiber, and amino acid. Aside from its nutritional value, it is considered anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-tumour, anti-viral, blood pressure regulator, and prevents diabetes, hyperlipidaemia, arteriosclerosis, and chronic hepatitis.” With this, mushrooms are no longer viewed as gourmet food but as nutraceutical commodity as well because of its medicinal and health benefits. Another advantage of mushroom is it only requires little space and time for growing. There are only few steps in cultivating mushrooms: spawn preparation and production; pure culture preparation or the selection of the acceptable fruiting culture of the mushroom; the planting material preparation; the substrate preparation where mushrooms will be grown; the actual planting or the inoculation of the substrate; and the harvesting, processing and marketing. “Nag-atindir kami ngunyan ta sabi ngani kayan, mayong tawong matios sa tawong mahigos. Mas nagkukusog lalo an samong interes sa mushroom production ta mas conscious na sa health and wellness an mga tao ngunyan kaya napapanahon talaga ining training na ini para sa samo,” Jun Corpuz, a trainee from Camaligan, shared his realization after the training. With a huge amount of passion, patience and hard work, mushroom growers will surely succeed on producing cultivated mushrooms.