Find a need and fill it.
These six words are a perfect reflection of the most valid advice given to would-be millionaires since time immemorial.
And guess what?
In this article, I am going to illuminate a growing need in the Nigerian agricultural sector that’s so in demand, so hot, so profitable, if you find a way to fill it, it won’t be long before you.
Mushroom Farming in Nigeria: How to Start, Succeed and Make Serious Sums of Money!
Start pocketing fat bundles of Naira!
That’s not all.
Not by a long shot.
I am going to share with you, time-tested ways and steps on how to go about filling this particular need. Mind you, I personally do not have a fail-proof business strategy on how to start and succeed in the business of mushroom farming in Nigeria, but I think I can give you a neat map of how others are doing it.
Truth be told, this is not an opportunity that can be seized upon by every Nigerian.
However, for the few of you who are investment conscious and eager to take bold immediate action, the information I’m about to share will be enough to give you a nudge in the right direction!
The need I’m talking about is….
The Growing Need of Nigerian Supermarkets, Grocery Stores and Hotels for Steady Supply of Edible Mushroom!
Unlike alcohol and red meat, mushrooms are a very good source of protein, especially for diabetic patients. And the medicinal benefits are enormous.
For example: There are mushroom farms that grow medicinal mushrooms for the treatment of high blood pressure, cancer and tumors. The button mushroom has been shown to aid weight loss, while the shitake mushroom helps the body fight against non-cancerous tumors.
I know, all of that sounds like Chinese to you, but I guess you are probably more familiar with Oysters. Even if you never really tasted it, at least you’ve heard of it.
Anyway, this very popular category of mushrooms contain very powerful anti-oxidant (and even anti-bacterial properties), and of course, they help reduce the level of cholesterol in the body.
The reishi mushroom is also super-super medicinal.
Can’t you just see how relevant mushroom farming is to the food, and pharmaceutical industries in Nigeria? It simply cannot be overemphasized.
You say you agree?
Then in that case, I’ll just move right unto the question of…
How Do I go About Starting a Mushroom Farm in Nigeria?
Like every other plant or crop, the single most important thing that has to be considered is the comparative ease with which the different species of mushrooms can be grown in Nigeria.
Once the farmer knows this, and then takes it a step further by understanding the type of mushrooms with considerably high demand, the profits yielded can be worth the investment. The return on investment can be as high as 150% if handled well.
Oysters for example, are very easy to grow, and are easily the most in-demand mushrooms.
Depending on the size of your farm, you can start with NGN50,000, NGN100,00 or NGN200,00.
Personally, I think NGN50,000 is perhaps, the easiest amount of money to raise in this country. If you can’t raise it yourself, and if all attempts to find someone who can lend you the full sum fails, all you need do is draw a list of 10 people who should be able to lend you NGN5,000 or a list of five people who should be able to lend you NGN10,000.
But you better have a foolproof plan of paying back, else, when they come down on you, you’ll have an experience so bitter and unbearable, you’ll keep having nightmares until you get over it.
Here are few things you’ll need to start a mushroom farm in Nigeria:
- Logs of wood (or saw dust) both of which must be safe and free from microorganisms
- Large containers to provide enough room for mushroom growth
- Mushroom spawn which will be mixed in/with the medium (wood or saw dust)
- A dark room (don’t worry this one has nothing to do with juju or blood rituals)
- Start-up cash, if you don’t already have the required amount.
So here’s how the procedure goes…
If you’re using logs of wood, the first thing you need to do is, like we’ve said before, make sure they are safe for the growth of mushrooms.
I think you may have need to spray one or two chemicals before using the wood. I’m not sure, but it gives you an idea that if need be, you shouldn’t pass on taking precautionary measures where necessary.
Then you proceed to cut holes into the logs of wood, and put the mushroom spawn inside these holes. After that, it’s important that the logs of wood carrying the spawn are kept in a moderately humid environment, like a dark room (you see, I told you it has nothing to do with juju) or under a tree shade.
And that’s not all.
You see my friend, you’ll need to water it too, continuously for at least a month until the mushrooms being to grow. If you can’t be dedicated enough to do it, or proactive enough to get/hire someone to do it, then you and I may need to admit that you are not a serious person.
If you’re using saw dust, it’s virtually the same process, except all you have to do is mix the mushroom spawn with the saw dust. No cutting of holes required.
Personally, I don’t like cutting through wood or anything for that matter. It makes me look like all those….
Religious Extremists Taking Lives in the Middle-East!
What else do you need?
Well, it seems to me that before starting mushroom farming, before getting your cash ready, before getting the necessary materials in place, you need to take these very important steps:
- First, find someone who is already into mushroom farming
Introduce yourself like a normal human being (I’ve always wondered what this means), let them know your intentions, ask them questions, and if possible, get hands-on-experience on how the whole thing works.
If possible, offer to pay them a little something for their kind-hearted willingness to share their knowledge.
You’ll be amazed how much you’ll learn taking this step.
- After you must have done that (and from the look on your face, I know you won’t want to do it) use the answers you get from our experienced mushroom farmer to find out if there’s a trader or group of traders who have demonstrated a consistent need for steady supply of affordable oysters (if that’s the category you choose to grow. Personally, I’d choose oysters since the demand is abnormally high!)
Do it. Do it. Do it!
Listen, and remember that I told you so:
One of the silly mistakes people make before going into business is to not find out first if there’s a starving market within touching distance for the product they intend to sell.
Don’t get me wrong.
It has been established that there’s a ready market for mushrooms.
Many Nigerian hotels now have oysters on their daily menu. Shopping malls and grocery stores will pay a fortune to have it delivered to them so they can….
Make an enormous profit selling in retail
And you see, the few mushroom farmers and traders who have managed to do it right are making serious money this way.
But my point (if there’s any) is that you need to be sure (with absolute mathematical precision) that you have an established relationship either with these hotels, or the middlemen involved trading and getting these mushrooms to the market.
Also, I think it’s not so foolish to start small.
Whether you have a trailer-load of money or not. Just start small, make your observations, and then start expanding as the need arises or your knowledge of the mushroom market increases.
I’ve learned that it takes about four weeks on the average to cultivate and harvest mushrooms. And your returns on investment are instantly obvious. Let’s say you have a start-up of NGN100,00, NGN50,000 or even NGN40,000, your chances of making a net-profit of 100% are as high as all those 10-storey building in Onitsha.
The risks and cost of running the business are pretty damn low.
Asides the initial costs, there’s really nothing else you need to worry about.
Mushrooms don’t need rain to grow.
And the competition in the mushroom market is fair.
Fair enough for anyone who is at all serious about starting mushroom farming in Nigeria.
If you’re not sure were to get the money, talk to people around you. Neighbours, friends, acquaintances, church members, and anyone you think might be able to help.
Borrow if you have to. It’s a relatively small amount and if you can make them see the light, I’m sure one or two persons might be willing to help or even partner with you.
The demand for mushrooms in Nigeria continues to increase, and will remain so in the forseeable future because unlike fish and snail farming, not too many people are looking in that direction.
But Nigerians are entrepreneurial by nature, and trust me, it won’t be long before the smart proactive ones start….
Shaking up the entire mushroom industry!
You know why?
It’s so damn profitable.
But if you start now, and take the necessary steps, you may never again have to worry about how much money you make in a month.
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