Determination of the optimal growth and yield parameters of oyster mushrooms {Pleurotus ostreatus) cultivated on composted cassava peel-based substrate formulation

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Mushroom cultivation is a profitable agribusiness so it is imperative to exploit alternative substrates. The research was carried out to investigate the most suitable conditions for the cultivation of Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) on pure cassava peels and its combination with corn cobs as an efficient means of utilizing agricultural wastes. During this study, effects of compost height (0.8m and 1.5m), composting period (3, 5 and / days) and the effect of supplementation with chicken manure on yield and the quality of mushrooms produced were studied. Results from the study showed that, higher compost heights (larger size), longer composting periods, and supplementation with chicken manure, increased the yield of mushrooms produced. In general, 50% cassava peels- 50% corn cobs recorded the highest yield followed by 100% cassava peels. Yield on compost height 1.5m was higher than on 0.8m compost height (P<0.05%). Composting for 5 or 7 days gave better results than 3 days composting period and chicken manure supplemented substrates performed better than non- supplemented substrates (P<0.05%). Statistical evaluation indicated that the effect of compost height, composting period and supplementation on the yield of mushrooms harvested per flush differed significantly at 0.05% significance level. Proximate analyses were equivalent to literature values. It can be concluded based on the yield that the interaction of 1.5m compost height, 5 days composting period and a substrate mixture of 50% cassava peels and 50% corn cobs supplemented with chicken manure are the optimum conditions for cultivating Pleurotus ostreatus.
A thesis submitted to the College of Science, 2008