Cultivated mushrooms in malawi a look at the present situation secret messages in logos

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Copyright © 2014 Alfred Chioza, Shoji Ohga. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In accordance of the Creative Commons Attribution License all Copyrights © 2014 are reserved for SCIRP and the owner of the intellectual property Alfred Chioza, Shoji Ohga. All Copyright © 2014 are guarded by law and by SCIRP as a guardian.

This paper presents the status of mushroom cultivation in Malawi. This is a developing country located in southeastern Africa between latitudes 9˚25′ South and 17˚08′ South and longitudes 33˚ East and 36˚ East. Almost all the mushroom cultivators in the country are growing Pleurotus ostreatus dow stock futures cnn. This species is most preferred because of its easiness to cultivate using the low-cost cultivation method being practiced in the country.


On average, the annual P. ostreatus production is estimated at 240 kg per grower. Mushroom cultivators are selling their produce at prices ranging from MK800 (USD2.04) to MK2000 (USD5.10) per kg. At present, there are four institutions that are producing spawn namely Bunda College (Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural resources), Bvumbwe Agricultural Research Station, Natural Resources College and the Biology Department at Chancellor College, University of Malawi. Currently, a total of about 1307 bottles (330 ml each) of P. ostreatus spawn are sold by these four spawn producers per month. Mushroom cultivation is not that popular in Malawi. This may be, partly, attributed to lack of know-how and awareness on the economic, nutritive and medicinal benefits of cultivated mushrooms. Some of the major supermarkets do sell Agaricus bisporus mushrooms which are imported from the Republic of South Africa. They also sell Pleurotus ostreatus sourced from local cultivators.

Malawi is a developing country located in south-eastern Africa between latitudes 9˚25′ South and 17˚08′ South and longitudes 33˚ East and 36˚ East. Most people in Malawi have known and used wild edible mushrooms as food since time immemorial. These wild edible mushrooms are seasonal, available only during the rainy season (November to March) market data live futures quotes. Outside this season, some dried mushrooms can be available in some local markets, especially in the four cities of the country. Most wild edible mushrooms in Malawi are collected from Miombo woodlands and they include Chantarelles, Lactaria and Russula species. While wild edible mushrooms are popular, most people are not familiar with cultivated mushrooms. This could be attributed to limited availability and lack of awareness on the economic, nutritional and medicinal benefits of cultivated mushrooms. Only a handful of cultivators are present in Malawi. At the moment, it is the oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus, which is being commercially cultivated by almost all the mushroom farmers. Button and oyster mushrooms are available in some major supermarkets. Almost all of the button mushrooms available in Malawi at the moment are imported, mainly from the Republic of South Africa dollar to inr rate today. Button mushrooms have by far the biggest commercial demand in southern Africa, but their production by small-scale farmers is not easy because they require low temperatures and highly selective and complex substrates resulting from composting [1].

As reported in Gwanama et al. [1], Africa produces very small quantities of cultivated mushrooms, less than 1% of the world’s total tonnage. Most of this production is in South Africa. However, Malawi and the rest of Africa have high potential for widespread production because of availability of abundant materials from agriculture wastes that could be used for mushroom production. All that is needed is to popularize this crop and build capacity in the art of mushroom farming. With mushroom cultivation, ordinary people from communal areas, periurban dwellers and commercial farmers can earn considerable income and employ many others [1]. Mushroom is considered as one of the important food items since ancient time and its consumption continues to increase for its significant role in human health, nutrition and diseases [2]. A number of mushrooms are reported to have medicinal properties. Popular medicinal macrofungi include Ganoderma lucidum, Ophiocordyceps sinensis, Lentinula edodes (Shiitake), Antrodia cinnamomea, Grifola frondosa (Maitake), Agaricus blazei and Inonotus obliquus. Some of the most recently isolated and identified compounds originating from the medicinal mushrooms have shown promising immunomodulatory, antitumor, cardiovascular, antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, hepatoprotective and antidiabetic properties [3].

In spite of the potential of mushroom growing in improving livelihoods of people and the ease of accessibility of materials for production, mushroom cultivation in Malawi is still in its infancy 1 usd to danish krone. The purpose of this paper is to provide useful baseline information for any upcoming initiative(s) aimed at promoting commercial mushroom cultivation in Malawi.

The information presented in this paper was collected through review of existing documents and interviews with main actors in mushroom production in Malawi. Much of the information was obtained from the Mushroom Project at Bunda College, Natural Resources College, Bvumbwe Agricultural Research Station and the Biology Department at Chancellor College. These four are the only spawn producers in Malawi at the moment. They are also involved in providing training in mushroom production. Some major supermarkets provided information on cultivated species being sold, their retail prices and countries of production. 3. Species Cultivated@NolistTemp# In 2008, Mpeketula [4] reported three species as being cultivated in the country and these were Agaricus bisporus (button mushrooms), Pleurotus sajor cajor and Pleurotus ostreatus of which the Pleurotoid species (oysters) were the commonest. However, we found that almost all the cultivators are growing Pleurotus ostreatus ( Figure 1) for commercial purposes. This species is most preferred among the available species because it is very easy to grow under the low-tech mushroom farming being practiced in Malawi.

Figure 7 the boxer rebellion. A sample of mushroom houses used in Malawi. Sources of photographs: (A) and (B) from the Mushroom Project at Chancellor College [8]; (C) and (D) by A. Chioza; (E) and (F) by P. M. G. Mpeketula.

Oyster cultivation as reported by Aloha Medicinals [6]. It is estimated that, on average, a single cultivator is producing 240 kg of P. ostreatus mushrooms per year [7].

Most of the cultivated mushrooms in Malawi are used in restaurants especially of major hotels and lodges. Individuals living in proximity to mushroom cultivators also provide a market for the crop. All the major institutions involved in mushroom cultivation indicated that the current production does not meet the demand for mushrooms in the country love quotes for boyfriend. This is evidenced by the importation of most of the mushrooms being traded in the country’s supermarkets.

The selling prices of oyster mushrooms, by cultivators, depend on where they are being sold. The prices range from MK800/kg (USD2.04/kg) to MK2000/kg (USD 5.10/kg). Most of the major supermarkets sell button and oyster mushrooms. The former is imported from the Republic of South Africa and the later is sourced from local cultivators. Table 2 shows the current average prices of mushrooms traded by major supermarkets in Malawi.

We think that one of the ways to popularise mushroom cultivation in the country is to bring some of the most preferred wild edible species into artificial cultivation. The majority of people are already familiar with these mushrooms and it would be much easier to accept them than foreign cultivated species. Most of the wild edible fungi in Malawi grow in association with Miombo tree species. There are fears that continued loss of forests will lead to reduced yield and probably complete loss of some of the wild edible mushrooms. Success in cultivating these species will ensure their continued availability. This will also make them available in fresh state throughout the year rather than seasonal as is the case now.

There have been some efforts in the past to bring these wild species into cultivation euro usd fx. For instance, Mpeketula [4] managed to successfully isolate and produce pure cultures of Termitomyces letestui, Termitomyces microcarpus and Cantharellus cibarius. However, up to now no one has managed to find a way to produce the fruit bodies of any of the indigenous edible mushrooms recorded in the country. There is need for continued research efforts aimed at finding ways to bring some of the popular wild edible mushrooms into cultivation. With advancements in biotechnology and increased knowledge in mushroom cultivation, we should be able to cultivate some of these mushrooms chicago futures market. In 2008 Mshandete and Cuff [9] reported success in cultivation of three Tanzanian wild edible mushrooms namely Coprinus cinereus, Pleurotus flabellatus and Volvariella volvocea. Lessons can be learnt from success stories such as this one.

1) Red sorghum, which is used as medium for spawn, is not produced in abundance in Malawi. This will pose a great threat as demand for spawn increases. Chibuku

NOTE: The Malawi Kwacha (MK) to USD conversion is based on the official middle exchange rate released by the Reserve Bank of Malawi on 15 th November, 2013 (MK392.11 = $1.00) [5].

Products Limited in Malawi also uses red sorghum for manufacturing an opaque beer called Chibuku. To make sure there is adequate supply of red sorghum for this product, the company gives out free sorghum seed to farmers who in turn will sell their produce to the company. This is a clear indication that red sorghum is in limited supply in the country.

2) The current method used for chopping maize stover is very tedious and inefficient. This is done by placing maize stover on a piece of wood or small log and use a panga knife to chop it into pieces of about 3 cm long. This is an area where engineers, especially agric-engineers, in the country could do something about. This would be by way of developing a simple, low-cost tool that will ease this process and improve efficiency.

3) Currently there are no well-defined markets and market channels for mushrooms. This has led to wide variations in prices cultivators sell their mushrooms. Some sell directly to consumers at very low prices because they do not have access to major supermarkets and hotels where they can fetch more for their produce. Organising mushroom growers into associations would be one major way of dealing with this challenge. Existing institutions like National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) and programmes such as One Village One Product (OVOP), supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), can be used by mushroom growing groups/associations as market channels.

4) Despite the economic, nutritional and medicinal benefits that mushrooms can offer, the government as well as non-governmental organisations in the country are giving very limited attention to mushroom production cdn to usd conversion. This hinders development of the industry in the country. Government support cannot be ruled out if promotion of mushroom production is to be successful.

5) Lack of production “know-how” and awareness on economic, nutritional and medicinal benefits of cultivated mushrooms is also a limiting factor to the development of mushroom production in the country. Unlike the growing of most field crops, mushroom cultivation requires some special knowledge and skills. Training on cultivation techniques should be continued and there should be more awareness on the benefits of cultivated mushrooms. This would motivate people to cultivate as well as consume more mushrooms.

In 2004, FAO reported nearly a hundred species of fungi that could be cultivated [10]. Today there may be even more than this number. Currently no more than two species of oysters are being cultivated, with success, in Malawi. This shows that the country is still lagging behind in mushroom cultivation. There is a need to introduce and popularize other cultivated species of mushrooms. However, in doing so the focus should be on developing lowcost production technologies that can be easily adopted in the country. Malawi has huge potential for mushroom farming because of the availability of large amounts of agricultural crop residues. There is also a high demand for mushrooms, locally as well as internationally. The country can take advantage of these factors to develop the mushroom industry commodity futures intraday market price quotes. Continued research efforts to bring some of the native wild edible mushrooms to cultivation must be encouraged and supported. Wild edible fungi are well-known by the majority of Malawians and we think that they will be more willing to cultivate and consume mushrooms same or similar to what they are already familiar with.


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