Windhoek Government office park
Private Bag 13184, Windhoek
Tel: 061 2087020
Fax: 061 2087068
Omahenene Research Station
P.o box 646, Ombalantu
Tel: +264 65 259057
Fax: +264 65 259079
Okashana Research Station
P.o, Box 19089, Omuthiya
Tel: 065 285307
Fax: 065 285310
Mannheim Research Station
P.O.Box 819, Tsumeb
Tel: +264 67 222121
Fax: +264 67 222176
Guidelines & Information:
Mushroom Promotion and Production
There are many questions around mushroom growth and cultivation among farmers and individuals in Namibia. Some people believe that mushroom grows only naturally and cannot be propagated or grown. However, mushroom can be easily grown in Namibia and elsewhere using the locally available materials such as grass and straws. Pleurotus sajor caju and Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom) are two of the choice edible mushrooms which can be cultivated in the tropics (Quimio et, al. 1990). The Pleurotus are regarded as easy to grow and have broad adaptability, which is the reason why they are cultivated worldwide and their production has increased rapidly (Chang and Miles 1997).
Mushrooms in general are well known among Namibian farmers and are widely consumed in the northern regions during the rainy season, although no formal scientific mushroom cultivation in Namibia has been attempted in the past, it is now well known that mushroom can be artificially cultivated in Namibia and many projects are well established across the country however the general public has no access to such information as most of these projects are private owned or for business purposes. It is widely acknowledged that scientific research has a major role to play in poverty reduction and hunger alleviation through active promotion and encouragement of crop diversification. Mushrooms are thus best suited for introduction to Namibian farmers as an alternative source of income and nutrition. Currently the ministry is offering technical advice and support through training of individuals or organized groups on requests. Spawning materials is also given to the public free of charge on request.
Target Group or Beneficiaries: Any Namibian national who needs information and growing materials for mushroom, however lower income group is encouraged to collect materials.
Collection of spawning material and other materials:
Member of the public are free to approach the ministry and contact the researcher running this project. They will then be required to place an order or give in a notification to the office where by they will settle a small amount of money for their materials to be prepared. They will be given a form which they will have to complete and leave it at the office. This will apply incase the ministry has run out of such material and thus time would be required for preparation of such materials.
Member of the public are free to approach the ministry and contact the researcher running this project. They can get information in the form of brochures and there after when they understand the procedures, training could be offered whereby they will learn all the steps in mushroom cultivation. After the training, participants are given spawning materials as a starter kit which they will take home at a minimum of N$ 5.00-10.00 depending on the size of the bottle. For those who are collecting the spawning materials they should bring with them two or more empty glass bottles to replace what they will take. Those who bring the bottles they can be given a 5% discount on their purchase. For now the service is offered free of charge to the Namibian public, however we are planning to charge small amount in the future.
Benefits from the Service Offering:
The general public is expected to benefit from this service, it is anticipated that through mushroom cultivation employment could be created and it can also improve the health condition of the communities especially to those live with HIV/AIDS. Their medicinal value, such as for healing wounds, and their ability to promote body immune enhancing and tumor-retarding effects, is another significant benefit (Chang et al., 1993). Mushrooms are highly nutritious and contain 20-40% protein on a dry matter basis, which consists of all the essential amino acids required in the human diet. Their taste and delightful aroma make them a delicious and popular food in restaurants throughout the world (Mshigeni and Chang, 2000). Namibians could also take up this opportunity to get income and at the same time improve their health.