New mushroom variety available

Agaricus Bitorquis has a longer shelf life and is recommended for small scale farming because it is less vulnerable to diseases and is sweeter and high quality.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has developed a mushroom variety suited for warm weather, opening a new revenue stream for farmers. The button type is also resistant to fungal and bacterial diseases. Scientists at the university’s Institute of Biotechnology Research (IBR), have studied soils and found that the October- March season is ideal for growing the new variety.

The number of trays that the farmer needs depends on the number of animals that one intends to feed. Contaminated water can serve both as a source and medium for transmission of diseases. Only a small amount of water is needed, partly because run-off water is easily recycled.

The new variety is called Agaricus Bitorquis which grows at 25 degrees Celsius above other varieties. The October-March period is the ideal since most parts of the country are usually warm. Kenyan farmers have been growing Agaricus Bisphorus type, which, was unfriendly to small growers who are unable to regulate temperatures down to the ideal 19 or 20 degrees Celsius. Such conditions have locked Mombasa, Kisumu and even around Nairobi out of mushroom farming, which has become popular among people changing their eating habits. The demand for mushrooms has been growing but there has been a challenge in temperature control. The new release, scientists say, also tastes better than the bisphorus variety. The new variety has a longer shelf life and is recommended for small scale farming. The economic advantage is that the new mushroom has less diseases, it is sweeter and has a better quality. Seeds are available at the university and can produce up to 5,000 tonnes monthly. The university is training farmers on growing this new type of mushroom covering areas like production, growing, packaging, preservation, pest and diseases, and marketing.

Share this post

Comment on post

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *