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Just like most Zimbabweans I know, I disliked eating mushroom and mushroom farming mainly because of the myth that mushroom is likely to be poisonous. I even remember a quote from my childhood which goes like ‘All mushroom is edible but some you can only eat once.’ The second myth which my late aunt dispelled was that one needs special equipment to start mushroom farming in Zimbabwe. The post will dispel those myths and show you how the easy steps to mushroom production. The steps may not be numbered so I advise you read between the lines.
Mushroom farming is most likely the only farming venture with the potential of generating a consistent cash flow every day for more than 30 days without breaking a sweat. From our consulting experience I have learnt that there is now an increase in the number of farmers who want to grow mushroom, but the major problem is when and how does one start? There is no reason why any Zimbabwean from the streets of Chikanga in Mutare (which is where I come from) can’t use a small corner of their 300 square metres stand to do a small scale mushroom production or my grandmother in Rusape convert one of her old huts to a mushroom production building. It is that simple.
When we talk of mushroom, those who grew up in the rural areas like me suddenly remember Nhedzi and Tsvuke-tsvuke. My grandmother would only let me pick nhedzi provided she was around to certify its edibleness. She was the only person qualified to certify edibility of wild mushrooms. There are however different varieties of commercially cultivated mushroom with the common two being mainly oyster and white button. All are edible and aren’t dangerous. Oysters mushroom is the easiest to cultivate with white button being a little more complex. Mushroom remains mushroom howbeit the type (some crazy grammar here but hope you get my point). Simple micro economics would suggest that since oysters mushroom is the easiest to cultivate, white button becomes the most expensive. I also find white button to be the testier of the two.
Just to put some figures into it, a 200 grams tray of oysters cost $1.50 whilst that of white button costs around $2.80 on a last mile distribution basis. That gives you a good picture I guess. In summary, preparing a room for white button mushroom farming costs a few dollars extra than preparing for oysters mushroom production. My question to you now is WILL IT BE Oysters or white button mushroom (NB: mushroom farming can be done in any part of Zimbabwe and in any season)?
If this article has aroused enough interest to want to consider this venture, get in touch with me and I will assign a consultant who will guide you in your journey to making money with mushroom in Zimbabwe at an affordable investment. And as always, ‘To your continued success’ #dogoodzim