Backyard farming suits vermiculture, mushroom production

Nigeria has a population of about 160 million, as against a world population of 6.5 billion. Even with that, the rich account for less than 20 per cent of the country’s population, while the poor account for more than 80 per cent.

The question you must ask yourself is – in which category do I belong? Do you earn enough? Are you tired of being bossed around or have the fear of being fired anytime? Do you want to choose your own working hours? Do you need extra or part-time business that will give you extra income? If you answer yes, then plan your way out of employment and step outside the box.

The Nigeria Immigration Service test – held on Saturday, March 15, 2014, in about 36 state capitals, including the Federal Capital Territory – highlights the unemployment situation in the country.

It is an irony that over 520,000 unemployed Nigerians applied for 4,556 job opportunities in the NIS. With rising unemployment rates in Nigeria, it is hard to see progress, unless we make agriculture attractive.

The road to sustainable employment creation will not be found only in government establishments but through entrepreneurship. The Nigeria’s economic recovery programmes have necessitated a radical shift from total dependence on government for jobs to self-employment.

Ever heard of backyard farming? If not, you are behind time. Backyard entrepreneurship is thriving. To be in the business, all you need to do is to convert that space in your backyard into a farm. Many, who are into it, are making their millions quietly and boosting the Gross Domestic Product.

At Century Farms, we encourage people to start small-scale farming because it has enormous capacity to touch lives. Although, large scale farming has its own advantage, it is capital intensive and the fact that many of our people are risk-averse has made it difficult for many entrepreneurs to go into it and so, the price of food has remained high in Nigeria.

There are inspiring and interesting accounts of backyard entrepreneurs, who have achieved tremendous financial success from this relatively low-profile, but forward-thinking venture. Many of these small-scale animal-farming businesses have emerged because of the country’s sluggish economy that has compelled the unemployed to look inwards.

If you have any available space at the backyard, then you don’t have problem to start a small-scale business. From mushroom, vermiculture and duck farming to raising grasscutter and snail; all these are passive money spinners. Nigerians can augment their income from backyard farming.

Currently, there is a wide gap in the food supply chain; the demand for vegetables and ‘bush meat’ in cities is high and growing as fast as the urban population. Besides, one can start raising mushroom, grasscutter and vermiculture for profit. All over the world, from developed countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom, and Russia, as well as other developing countries like China, Mexico, and Brazil, earthworm culture, popularly called vermiculture is being widely practiced in small-scale and commercialised manner.

Earthworms are very essential to agricultural development. Daily household waste are either left or disposed together with all other wastes. If households can actually manage their waste well, they can make lots of money through the sale of worms to fish and poultry farms and production of marketable organic fertilizers to crop farmers. A little care, market planning and timely technical support can bring amazing results for any serious farmer.

Other opportunities are in mushrooms and antelope farming. It has become imperative to adopt mushroom cultivation for sustainable agricultural production and for the economic prosperity of the farmers. This stemmed from the fact that Nigerians are becoming health conscious by avoiding the consumption of red meat that is loaded with cholesterol. Mushroom is medicinal and very cheap to produce, the demand for healthy mushrooms are high within the region.

What investors need, is the knowledge to maximize the potential and tap into the market. Besides, grasscutter, snail, mushroom and earthworm are some of the most practical and versatile small scale sustainable farming you can start practicing today. They are cheap and easy to handle.

For your full comprehensive mushroom production kit comprising of a 215+ pages manual, 2 HD video tutorials,and  MUSHROOM BUSINESS PLAN and HOW TO START, RUN AND PROFIT FROM MUSHROOM BUSINESS contact us via promotenews@yahoo.com, The entire Kit is $50 only.

Charles-MD/CEO,Century Farms

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Mushroom farming: Turning waste to wealth

My personal experience as an agric entrepreneur has proved that farming mushroom, antelope, quail, rabbit, grass cutter, snail, laboratory rat and guinea pig is second nature.

 In the case of mushroom cultivation, its production gives small farmers a big chance to increase their income, improve their health and offers an alternative means of livelihood to urban and rural farmers. The process of growing mushroom is one of the easiest ways to earn a living and not much physical strength is required in its production.

 The potential in mushroom farming makes it an investor’s delight as a viable money making option. Investment in mushroom production will, in the long run, contribute to food security, wealth, health and employment creation.

 Getting started

Starting a mushroom farm is a potentially lucrative way of getting into the farming business.  Its cultivation is also regarded as one of the most science-based branches of agriculture and horticulture. Growing mushroom is a rewarding experience.

You can get started without the costly items the so-called experts say you should have. With about N80,000, one can kick-off with 20 mushroom platforms constructed with scrap materials by a roadside carpenter. They are cultivated in a small floor space.

Mushroom beds need a darkroom for only 14-18 days while harvesting is usually four to six days after opening the bags, mushroom primordia begin to form. Mature mushrooms become ready for harvesting in another three to four days.

 Types

There are many types of mushrooms and they can be categorised into four groups: Saprotrophic, Mycorrhizal, Parasitic and Entophytic.

Health benefit 

Edible mushrooms are considered as healthy food because their mineral content is higher than that of meat or fish and most vegetables. The protein content of fresh mushrooms is about twice that of vegetables and four times that of oranges.

The protein in mushrooms has all the nine amino-acids that are essential for the health of human beings and they are especially rich in lysine and leucine, which are lacking in most staple cereal foods.

Scientists have also indicated that mushrooms are devoid of starch and low in calories and other carbohydrates. It is clear that apart from the nutritional value of mushrooms, they have potential medicinal benefits and are also an ideal food for the diabetics and obese people.

 The health benefits of mushrooms also include improvement in the body’s immune system and the prevention of all forms of cancer and tumour.

 Good market

Many opportunities abound in the growth of mushrooms as most of the big hotels in Nigeria have mushrooms on their menu, but these mushrooms are imported, meaning that local production will have a ready market. There is an opportunity to even export mushrooms to Europe and America, once you can produce good quality.

In Asia, there are a lot of youths and women organisations that are engaged in mushroom farming and they are able to export their produce.

Increased awareness

More farmers are of late going into the farming of mushrooms.

Local demand for mushroom is also increasing as the people become more health conscious by avoiding the consumption of red meat that is loaded with cholesterol.

The business of mushroom cultivation in Nigeria is now growing at a feverish pitch, attracting investors who either see it as a complimentary business proposition or as a main and sustainable revenue stream.

Either of the propositions has the potential to earn decent returns.

For instance, while a kilo of chicken goes for N700 on the average, a kilo of mushroom is about N1,700.

Viability

The technology for the cultivation of mushroom species could be easily adopted by individuals, co-operative societies, families and schools in the rural and urban centres without difficulties. Also, mushrooms can be cultivated all-year round as sources of the mushrooms are agricultural wastes, which are always available in abundance in Nigeria.

The high rate of returns and low cost of investment as well as farming them are some of the reasons many farmers are fast resorting to mushroom cultivation these days.

If you embrace this business, you will be glad you did in the long run.