The Diector-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Bamidele Solomon, said the agency was ready to assist interested Nigerians in growing edible mushrooms.
Solomon said in Abuja that the agency would be willing to have many Nigerians involved in the growth of mushroom at different levels.
He said that so many opportunities abound in the growth of mushroom as many hospitality industries in the country still imported the product to add to their meals.
The director-general said, “Many of our hospitality industries, particularly hotels have mushroom in their menu, but this mushroom come from abroad.
“There is opportunity to export, once you produce good quality mushroom that can be exported to Europe and America.
“This can be done under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) agreement; this is one of the things we can easily upload.
“In Asia, particularly South East Asia, there are a lot of women organisations that are engaged in mushroom farming and they are able to export their products.”
Solomon explained that growing mushroom locally would complement government’s efforts to turn waste to wealth, including the production of something that could be highly nutritious.
He said, “What is involved in mushroom production is the use of agricultural waste, such as rice, straw, grasses, sawdust.
“We just mixed them up with other nutrient that will support the growth of different species of mushroom.”
Solomon said that the agency had assisted some farms including, Obasanjo Farm in Ogun, and Baro Farm in Akure, , among others and that they were now producing mushroom.
He said that the agency had some bio-resource centres that would assist in providing necessary facilities, such as log and sponge needed for the growing of mushrooms for those interested, but lacked access to them.
“We have this group of young micro-biologists manning the operations at our bio-resource centre in Ife, they are now ready to supply anybody who want to use sponge.
“In Ogbomoso, our bio-resources centre, has been built and I believe that in another one month mushroom production can start there,’’ he said.