Mushroom Production Centre

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A major advance in agriculture today is the development of cultivation techniques for edible tropical mushrooms which, since earliest times, have been valued as a special delicacy in soups and stews. This development has been necessitated by the seasonal appearance of this crop as well as the fast increasing demand for meat substitute here and abroad. Successful cultivation of crops, such as mushroom is the kind of crop which requires knowledge of basic sciences. But one remarkable characteristic of these mushrooms is that they only require many kinds of agricultural, industrial or other waste as substrates for the production the substrates must have quite a reasonable degree of warmth and humidity and the nutrient content must be higher to support the growth of a particular mushroom. If these basic requirements could be met by these organisms the mushrooms could convert this waste material into human food. Notwithstanding the simplicity of its growth process, mushroom cultivation is a complicated business, It involves a number of different operations including the selection of an acceptable fruiting culture of the mushroom, preparation of spawn and compost, inoculation of the compost, crop care, harvesting, preservation of the mushroom and marketing. Each of these operations consists of many other sequential steps to be pursued which are equally necessary for a successful operation of the mushroom business. While there is available, a solid background of scientific information for these various operations with a number of cultivated species. In much aspects mushroom cultivation is an art and a science. Consequently, in order to maintain a reasonably high and stable yield of mushrooms both fundamental knowledge of mushroom science and the accumulative information of practical experience in mushroom cultivation are required. The cultivation of mushroom deals with living organisms, not only the mushroom itself but also other microorganisms including both harmful and beneficial ones. Therefore the methods employed in mushroom cultivation require some modification from one region to another, as different environmental conditions and different species of micro organisms may be encountered. Mushroom farming provides one of the most economical way to make use of agricultural by-products which otherwise would have been left to rot in the field. These include e.g. 1. Rice Straw 2.Maize Storer, cobs and chuff. In summary, science and practice in mushroom cultivation have led to some useful general concepts about various stages in the process but the biological complexity involved in the interaction of various micro organisms, different natural substrates and a diversity of environmental conditions requires a multitude of methods for cultivating mushrooms.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture, 1996