THE Department of Agriculture Davao (DA) Regional Field Office (RFO) pushes for oyster mushroom cultivation in select areas in the region to help augment the income of housewives in the communities and for its nutritional benefits.
According to DA-RFO Science Research Specialist Peñafrancia Gordo, the DA Rice program came up with the community-based mushroom production (CBMP) on September 2013 with the main objective of helping rice farmers find ways to use their wastes such as rice straws. These rice straws will be essential in the plantation of oyster mushroom.
Now, the oyster mushroom has helped, not only with the utilization of rice straw wastes of rice farmers, but also to raise extra income for housewives in the community including some in Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Davao City particularly in Marilog, Marahan, and Calinan.
“This can help with the community especially with the housewives. Instead of them being at home only, growing mushrooms will help them earn extra income. Also, oyster mushroom has health benefits,” said Gordo adding that the oyster mushroom is rich in protein, amino acids, B complex, and fiber among others. She also said oyster mushroom s can help strengthen the immune system and helps with the better circulation of blood in the veins.
When asked why they chose oyster mushrooms to be produced, she said the climate and temperature in the region is very much perfect for the production of the mushroom.
Plantation of oyster mushrooms starts with a mother culture where a grain spoon is taken from. This grain spoon will be planted in a fruiting bag, wherein after a month or so, a pinhead will emerge. In a single fruiting bag, around one kilogram will be harvested in three to four months’ time.
Currently, these oyster mushrooms are being sold in marketplaces in the respective communities.
Gordo said they plan to consolidate the members of the community in the future to create an organization to make it easier to supply to bigger vegetable suppliers in Davao City that would be interested in buying their mushrooms in bulk.
“We ask interested communities to coordinate with their local government units (LGUs). The LGUs then will be the ones to request trainings from us on how to grow these oyster mushrooms,” said Gordo.
In a previously published report, the DA Davao Region fabricated a biomass-fed sterilizer for mushroom growth media with the intention of improving the post-harvest facility for oyster mushroom growing. This project was in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.