A farmer finds fortune in Mushroom Farming

By Steven Mulanda

Unemployment in Kenya can be very depressing to an individual especially after graduation ‘tarmaking’ for several years not only with a first degree but on top of it a master’s.


This is the situation that one, Paul kisiangani found himself in after graduating with, a master’s degree in disaster management and sustainable development from Masinde Muliro University of Science and technology in kakamega.


However, all this predicament didn’t detriment his ambition to succeed in life. While attending an Agricultural show in the town way back in 2005, he met his longtime buddy who by then was selling Mushroom spawns (seeds). After the conversation, his perception about Mushroom farming changed to the better.


With the urge in him about mushroom farming now bubbling to high points, he visited the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KARLO) in kakamega, where he met Linet Ongadi who conveyed to him ideas about this brilliant venture.


“I began farming Mushrooms in 2006, I had high expectations to gain a bumper harvest but the yields were too low and it had heavily been infested by pests and disease not once but on three occasions of planting,” said Paul kisiangani.


Through his persistence, he decided to visit various farmers undertaking the same venture in the counties of Bungoma, Vihiga and Busia to learn more about mushroom farming.


It’s through this field visits that he met Professor Sigot from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology(Mmust) who was carrying out a research about various challenges facing mushroom farming, that he got more knowledge about  controlling pests and diseases, branding as well as marketing.


With all this, he decided to grow the oyster variety whose technology is simple to grow and easy to prepare as well as very nutritious and matures in a month’s time.


“This activity is very simple, I use maize cobs mixed with sawdust, dry banana leaves, sugarcane buggase which is easily available as this is a sugarcane growing region,” explained kisiangani.


Read the full article in Hortfresh Journal May – June 2016 edition

Email: info@hortfreshjournal.com or call 0722956906 to get a copy

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