Mushroom Production Technology in Yaba College of Technology

Ofodile, L. N., Nwakanma, N. M. C. and Adamu, G. O. L.

Department of Biological Sciences, Yaba College of Technology

Preamble

The mushroom project in Yaba College of Technology was conceptualized in year 2008 and it is a project that seeks to cultivate edible and medicinal mushrooms, transfer the entrepreneurial skill to students and other interested persons and get them equipped to own their own farms and make money, create mushroom gene bank and carry out researches in the different aspects of mushroom utilization; medicine, food and nutriceuticals.

The project is the brain-child of Dr (Mrs) Ofodile, L. N., a Chief Lecturer in the Department of Biological Science who researched on the identification, isolation and characterization of antibiotics from indigenous mushroom species during her PhD program. Having discovered the enormous nutritional and medicinal values that can be derived from these mushrooms, she therefore seeks to make mushrooms available all- year round for consumption by artificial production. This is because mushrooms are hardly found in our markets in Nigeria because they appear seasonally and the local people who eat them harvest them from the wild. 

However, the actual mushroom farming commenced in 2011, when 4  student’s project proposals on mushroom cultivation won World Bank for Innovator’s of Tomorrow (IOT) research grants under her supervision. The management under the present Rector; Dr (Mrs) M. K. Ladipo built the mushroom house with a spawn production biotechnology laboratory, the fruiting room and the pasteurization shed while the IOT grants provided all the equipment in the mushroom house.

It is important to note that at present, Yaba College of Technology is the only Tertiary institution in Nigeria that has a functional state of the art mushroom spawn production biotechnology laboratory. 

Mushroom Cultivation

At present, mushroom spawns (seeds), fresh mushrooms, dried mushrooms and some of it’s by products are done within the facility. We have been able to produce the seeds of Pleurotusostreatus, P. ostreatus var. florida, and Ganodermalucidum. The fruiting bodies of Pleurotusostreatus, P. ostreatus var. florida have also been produced in small scale and sold at the rate of N1000 per Kg during exhibition in and outside the College. Work is on-going to produce the fruit bodies of Ganodermalucidum which is purely for medicinal purpose.

Training and Capacity Building

The College sponsored 3 lecturers and 4 students of the Department of Biological Sciences for training in Songhai Center Port Novo on mushroom cultivation in March, 2011 (Figure 1). Training of students and farmers started effectively from April, 2011 in the mushroom house, Yaba College of Technology.   mu1  mu2

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Fig. 1Technology Transfer in Songhai Center

Presently 16 students have been trained on mushroom cultivation; spawn production, spawn running and fruiting. One of the students was from Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti. A retiree (Mrs Kupoluyi) from Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) was trained 2011 and has set up her own farm (Fig. 2) and supplies mushrooms to supermarkets and individuals. The Director UNEVOC, some students and staff visited her farm on Monday 16th June, 2013.

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Fig. 2 - Mrs Kupoluyi in front of her fruiting room holding her mushroom fruits 

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Fig.3 - From left Dr Ofodile, Arc. Soniyi, Mrs Kupoluyi, Ms I. Marinze (Dir, UNEVOC) and Mrs Okoye at Mrs Kupoluyi’s Mowe farm

  1. The happy farmer, (Mrs Okoye) admiring her first harvest during the training in front of the fruiting room, YCT mushroom house

Another retiree from University of Lagos is presently being trained while a professor (Prof Okpuzor, Head of Department Cell Biology and Genetics) from University of Lagos was also trained last year. The President, African Society for edible and medicinal mushrooms and a Professor at the University of North Carolina also visited the Laboratory to transfer some spawn preparation skills to our students in 2012. According to Professor Omon S. Isikhuemhen, a world renowned mushroom biotechnologist and the President, African Society for edible and medicinal mushrooms, Yaba College of Technology is the only institution in Nigeria with a standard spawn production laboratory.

 

  1. TRAINING IN YCT

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA TO YCT

Research

We are constantly researching into various kinds of problems the farmer may have to proffer solutions to any short or long - term challenges they may be facing in their farms. The mushroom team also carries out research on the various techniques of substrate production i.e. cultivation on pasteurised waste, fermentation or immersion in hot water. The project has been determining the growth conditions of different species and the farmers have always been given clear information on how to cultivate the different kinds of mushroom and the condition under which they will grow with maximum results. We have also identified medicinal mushrooms for theprevention and treatment of some illnesses such as cancer, tumor, fibroid, hypertension, wounds and high blood pressure and its use as antibiotics. Various researches have been done in these area and papers published.Research and applications have shown thatmushroomcultivation is relevant to four sectors of our economy;

FOOD: mushrooms add value to our food and for food security

PHARMACEUTICAL: Edible mushrooms have medicinal attributes as mentioned above

AGRICULTURAL: Spent mushroom substrates are good as manure and add nutritive values to feeds of livestock

ENVIRONMENT: Mushroom somatic bodies and spent substrates have been found to be very good in bioremediation of polluted soils and in waste management because mushroom fungi utilize different agricultural and industrial waste to produce their fruiting bodies.

    

The project is managed by Dr Ofodile, L.N. (Mushroom Biotechnologist). The other members of the mushroom team are Mr. Nwakanma, N. M.C. (Environmental Biologist and Geneticist), Mr.Adamu, G. O. L. (Biotechnologist) anda laboratory Assistant.We hope to continue training farmers and other interested members of the public in this technology organize awareness programmes on the benefits of mushroom consumption and scale up production to commercial level. However, we are constrained by lack of investors to commercialise this project to enable us achieve the goal of making edible and medicinal mushrooms available to our immediate community and Nigerian at large.

It is pertinent to note that without the encouragement and support of the Rector Dr (Mrs) M. K. Ladipo, this project would have been impossible. So, gratitude goes to the Rector and weappreciatethe World Bank for IOT grants given to this project. The project has achieved little but hopes to meet its set goals by the grace of God.

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