Production of mushrooms will gain
more foreign exchange for Nigeria-NEPC
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says that the country is able
to substantially increase its foreign exchange by investing in the production of mushrooms.
Mr Olusegun Awolowo, Executive Director, NEPC, said this during a capacity-building workshop organized in Enugu
on Thursday for representatives of the National Mushroom Growers, Processors and Marketing Association of Nigeria (NAM-GP-MAN).
Awolowo said that the country could be a major player in global mushroom production,
having been blessed with the right environment and ecological conditions to help mushroom cultivation.
He said that Nigeria could not afford to neglect the production of
mushrooms as their demand continued to increase dramatically in the international market.
In 2018, the executive director said that mushroom production stood
at 8,993,280 tons, with China accounting for 46 percent of production.
He said that mushroom production in Africa amounted to 28,767 tons in the same
period and contributed mainly to South Africa, Madagascar, Morocco , Algeria, Zimbabwe and Tunisia.
“The global market for mushroom is also huge and growing exponentially.
“The market is estimated at $45.3 billion in 2020 and projected to reach $72.5 billion by 2027.
“The growing market for mushroom is due to the rising global awareness for healthy food and preferences towards vegan foods,’’ he said.
Awolowo said that mushrooms were strongly desired as a
protein, vitamin and mineral-rich meat alternative for the above.
“Nigeria is blessed with the right climatic and ecological conditions to support mushroom cultivation.
“Therefore, it is important for the operators in the industry to leverage on the natural advantages to become a key global player in the market place.
“To succeed in this pursuit requires the adoption of good agricultural practices, which include general farm operations, packing activities, storage, transportation, traceability and others,’’ he said.
Awolowo said that because of its rich nutritional and medicinal
value, mushrooms have become a sought-after food eaten in various ways.
The National President, NAM-GP-MAN, Chief Michael Awumo, said earlier that the days when
mushrooms were considered to be food for the poor in rural communities were gone.
Amuwo said that bread, cake, pie
and others could be made using mushrooms.
He added that the association was eager
to contribute to the edible ‘s development.
“We want to use the mushroom to empower our women and youths.
“The mushroom revolution could end restiveness,’’ he said
The Southeast Regional Coordinator of the NEPC, Mr Arnold Jackson, also urged the organization to
take advantage of the Federal Government’s new diversification strategy to boost the value chain of mushrooms.
Jackson said that NEPC was available and ready
in every way possible to assist mushroom farmers.
Nigeria’s News Agency reports that one
of the interesting fungi is the mushroom.
It is known as a vegetable and is commonly recognized as
edible and is an important ingredient in various cuisines throughout the world.