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RAP Publication 2001/12

Mushroom cultivation for people with disabilities


FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok, Thailand 2001

RAP Publication 2001/12

Mushroom cultivation for people with disabilities A TRAINING MANUAL

Written by

Johanne Hanko
Technical specialist in disability matters International consultant for TCP/THA/8821(A) Mushroom Production training for Disabled People

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok, Thailand 2001


The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

For copies of the manual, write to: Wim Polman Rural Development Officer FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Maliwan Mansion, 39 Phra Atit Road Bangkok 10200 Thailand Tel: (662) 697-4000 Fax: (662) 697-4445 E-mail: wim.polman@fao.org

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction, should be addressed to the Director Information Division, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Maliwan Mansion, 39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand. FAO 2001


Table of contents

Table of contents .............................................................. iv Forward ........................................................................... viii


Introduction ....................................................................... 2 Rendering self-reliance...................................................... 3 Mushroom cultivation as a tool for self-reliance ............... 4 Three-in-one training......................................................... 5
Rehabilitation + Mushroom cultivation + Enterprise development.... 5

Obligations and responsibilities......................................... 6

Training and training related duties............................................... 6 Administrative duties ................................................................... 7 Maintenance of mushroom farm ................................................... 7 Financial assistance for trainees.................................................... 8 Daily book keeping and financial management............................... 8

Alternate ways of doing things .......................................... 9

Answering specific needs ............................................................. 9 Creative thinking ......................................................................... 9

Collaboration and partnerships ....................................... 10 Opening and closing ceremonies ..................................... 10

Implications ...............................................................................10 Certificates of achievement .........................................................10

Operational recommendations......................................... 11 Monitoring and Evaluation............................................... 13

Check acquired knowledge. .........................................................13 Check mushroom house at trainees home....................................13 Make sure trainees received their raw material .............................13 Frequency of visits......................................................................13 Check sustainability ....................................................................13 Permanent support .....................................................................13 Encouraging support from family and community..........................13 Keep notes of all visits and meetings with ex-trainees ...................13

BUILDINGS, TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT ......................... 17

Adaptation for people with disabilities ............................ 17
Buildings....................................................................................17 Pasteurization systems................................................................19

Medium for mushroom bag cultivation............................ 19 Other equipment .............................................................. 20

SELECTING TRAINEES .................................................. 22

The process ...................................................................... 22 Size of group .................................................................... 23 Gender equality................................................................ 23 Problems to be avoided.................................................... 23 Formal Procedures ........................................................... 25
Application information ...............................................................25 Final selection procedure ............................................................25

MOTIVATIONAL SESSIONS........................................... 28
Objectives ........................................................................ 28 Proposed outline .............................................................. 29
First series of motivational sessions .............................................29 Second series of motivational sessions .........................................30

THE TRAINING.............................................................. 32
Learning about mushrooms ............................................. 32 From Theory to practice ................................................... 33
Continuous need for training .......................................................34

Training approach ............................................................ 34 Start-up procedure........................................................... 35 Proposed schedule ........................................................... 36

Part II. MUSHROOM CULTIVATION BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES A guide .............................................. 39

INTRODUCTION ............................................................... 40 Introduction to mushroom cultivation ............................ 40

Step 1. About mushrooms................................................ 43

Nature of mushrooms .................................................................43 Uses for mushrooms...................................................................44 Nutritional values in mushrooms ..................................................44 Health properties of mushrooms ..................................................45 Cultivated mushrooms Vs wild mushrooms ...................................45 Selecting the right type of mushrooms for cultivation ....................45

Step 2. PRODUCING PDA MEDIUM .................................. 48

Tissue Culture ............................................................................48 Selecting tissue culture ...............................................................51 Culture from PDA to PDA ............................................................54

Step 4. MULTIPLYING SPAWN ON SORGHUM SEEDS ...... 57 Step 5. PRODUCING SUBSTRATE BAGS ........................... 63 Step 6. PASTEURIZING BAGS .......................................... 69
Country type pasteurization.........................................................69 Commercial pasteurization ..........................................................72 Solar heating pasteurization ........................................................74

Step 7. INOCULATING BAGS WITH SORGHUM SEEDS..... 75 Step 8. INCUBATING BAGS .............................................. 79 Step 9. OPENING BAGS .................................................... 82 Step 10. MAINTAINING AND MONITORING .................... 84 Step 11. HARVESTING...................................................... 87 Step 12. CULTIVATING STRAW MUSHROOMS ................. 88 Step 13. PACKAGING ....................................................... 92 Step 14. MARKETING ....................................................... 93 Step 15. PROCESSING...................................................... 94
Conserving mushrooms...............................................................94 Fermented mushrooms Pla la hed .............................................94 Fermented mushrooms in banana leaf..........................................95 Heavenly mushrooms Hed Sawan .............................................95 Pickled mushrooms with soya sauce.............................................96 Shrimp paste mushrooms (vegetarian) .........................................96

Step 16. WASTE MANAGEMENT AND RECYCLING ........... 97 Step 17. TROUBLE SHOOTING ......................................... 99

Step 18. PREPARING THE MUSHROOM HOUSE ............. 105

Materials that can be used: .......................................................105 Mushroom shelves and suspended systems ................................107 Country style pasteurization system ...........................................108

Step 19. STARTING THE BUSINESS ............................... 109

Procedure to start a mushroom production farm .........................109

Step 20. KEEPING RECORDS.......................................... 111

Check profit .............................................................................111 Income to be expected .............................................................112

Annex 1. Layout of mushroom cultivation center.......... 114 Annex 2. Buildings and equipment for training center.. 115 Annex 3. Preliminary questionnaire including selection criteria............................................................................ 117 Annex 4. Cost estimate for mushroom bag production . 119 Annex 5. Justification for cost calculations .................. 120


In the Asia and Pacific Region, there are about 500 million hungry people, out of estimated 800 million undernourished in the world. Two third of the hungry and poor are living in rural areas. There is a high correlation between poverty and hunger. There may be ample food available in any specific country, yet individual persons or households, particular the rural poor, may not be able to purchase the food needed for a healthy life. FAO's main objective is to achieve universal food security. Also the Asia-Pacific region should be free from hunger and poverty, and FAOs programmes are designed to address food insecurity and sustainable agricultural development in rural areas. Farmers with disabilities are among the poorest of the poor. Because of their disability, they are often not given the same opportunities to develop their potential capabilities, and live like active members within society. FAO has appointed a focal point within the Rural Development Division to promote and coordinate international, regional and country level support activities for capacity building of disabled farmers and rural disabled people. The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) pioneered a training programme for disabled farmers in the poor northeastern part of Thailand with funding from its Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP): Mushroom production training for disabled people TCP/THA/8821(A). The TCP technical capacity building activities were designed and implemented by a joint RAP officers team in close collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Thailand. The project strategy aimed at expanding the outreach and impact of mainly vocational training programmes for the promotion of non-farm and formal sector wage earning skills. It also included skills training for agro-based small enterprise development by disabled farmers. The activities were carried out in Ubon Ratchathani province in the Training Center for Disabled People. The FAO inter-disciplinary taskforce provided technical assistance and expertise on mushroom production, marketing, design and use of processing equipment, criteria and guidelines for disability and gender response. It also dealt with awareness building, extension of technical skills and small enterprise development. As a result of the well-coordinated project inputs, many trainees became successful mushroom farmers and a few became trainers. The pilot training and mushroom production activities were largely developed as part of "learning by doing", guided by a successful Thai mushroom entrepreneur and national trainers and extension workers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. Yet to facilitate the further replication of this successful pilot project, there was a need to develop a mushroom production-training curriculum for disabled farmers, post-anthem in English, covering the entire training process. The FAO lead technical officer, Wim Polman, responsible for rural development at the FAO regional office in Bangkok, coordinated the preparation of this first training manual, written by FAO international consultant Johanne Hanko. Cultivation procedures were developed, tested and revised by the two national consultants, Satit Thaithatgoon, a renowned Thai entrepreneur and mushroom cultivation expert, and Prasert Wuthikamphee, an expert from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives from Thailand. Mr Thaithatgoon further provided technical support and revisions for the publication. The manual is intended as a training and information tool for government and non-government trainers and extension workers on the subject of income generation for people with disabilities through mushroom production. The training manual is divided into two main parts. The first describes each phase of the training process, and the second gives a detailed and illustrated hands-on description of every task involved in mushroom production. Pictures in the manual show disabled trainees and trainers in action at the center and on their own farm. The enthusiasm expressed by the faces of the disabled farmer's trainees show their feeling of achievement as full and active members of society, both socially and economically, acquired during the training. They are now integrated into society and capable of taking care of themselves and their beloved ones. I am confident the Training manual on mushroom cultivation for people with disabilities will be a useful tool for trainers involved in (in)formal grassroots poverty alleviation programmes aiming at income generation and enterprise development for people with disabilities in rural areas. R.B. Singh Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific




Introduction To promote income generation opportunities for people with disabilities living in Thailand, FAO initiated a project with the governments Department of Public Welfare to reach out to the disabled people in rural areas. The main objective of the project was to enhance opportunities for rural people with disabilities to become self-reliant and to show their capabilities, allowing them to re-integrate their community and be active members of society. Mushrooms were selected as offering good market opportunities because of their high demand in the Thai diet. The project confirmed that both physically and mentally disabled people are fully capable of cultivating mushrooms and setting up a profitable enterprise. Mushroom cultivation further offers low start-up costs with short-term returns on investment. It further offers food sustainability and promotes self-sufficiency by the sale of mushrooms from the farm and within the community. Through a carefully developed selection and training methodology, training has been made efficient and replication on a private scale has proven sustainable and even profitable. By using different methods and developing personal ways of accomplishing various tasks, people with disabilities can dot everything needed for establishing a successful mushroom enterprise. The result can be seen in the self-satisfaction and higher self-esteem in many of the trainees. Several trainees married following training. Others have actually become physically stronger. Although incapable of making detailed business plans and keeping detailed accounts, successful project trainees can keep basic records of sales and income, and know how much profit they are making. Trainees with mental disabilities are also capable of basic bookkeeping and developing marketing strategies. Several trainees have become trainers themselves, whether at the training center or within their family and community. The trainees have developed specific skills and serve as an example for new trainees. Other trainees have been requested by schools to teach adolescents or womens groups about mushroom cultivation. All trainees have already transferred their know-how to family members who not only support them but also have found mushroom to be a major source of household income.


Rendering self-reliance As trainers, you need to be aware that you have been selected for a very specific task, and that you will play a major role in the future of a number of people. Your responsibility is to enable people with disabilities for a better and happier life by making them self-reliant.

To give disabled rural people the opportunity of becoming self-reliant.

The main objective is to make disabled rural people reach economic self-reliance as entrepreneurs through income generation. You must remember this at all times during the training. All trainees that participate in the extensive training course are there by choice, and because they believe that the training course in mushroom cultivation will give them the necessary tools for a better life. It is your responsibility to make them feel FULLY CAPABLE of doing anything and everything.

Trainees must believe they CAN DO


Mushroom cultivation as a tool for self-reliance Mushroom cultivation offers several advantages. 1. Mushrooms can be cultivated on a small and large scale to allow personal consumption or the start of a commercial enterprise. 2. Collected mushrooms can be sold as a supplemental or major source of income, depending on the size and number of mushroom houses. 3. People with physical disabilities are fully capable of accomplishing all necessary tasks in mushroom cultivation, even if some modifications in constructions and equipment may be needed. Specific tasks may need to be done differently because of certain disabilities. 4. Chronically ill or weak people can work in a cooler environment since mushrooms grow under the shade. This reduces physical exertion associated with open cultivation as with rice and small fruit. 5. Mushroom cultivation can be performed by mentally disabled people. Several tasks required are repetitive and can easily be learned. 6. For people interested in experimenting, the range in types of mushrooms and cultivation techniques can prove challenging and gratifying. 7. Mushroom cultivation offers a wide range of activities most suitable for people with various needs, diverse interests and specific capabilities. 8. Mushroom cultivation can be started at a very low cost. In the province of Ubon Ratchathani a mushroom house capable of holding 1,000 mushroom bags can be built for as little as 500 Baht (US$12) depending on the creativity of the constructor and its ability to use readily available and appropriate materials. 9. Mushrooms can be produced and sold within 2 to 4 months. 10. Collected mushrooms can be sold fresh in the village, on the local market or directly from the farm. 11. Spawns or seeds and spawn bags can be bought by the entrepreneur at a reasonably low cost allowing an acceptable profit margin. Thailand spawn is among the least expensive. 12. Spawn bags can be produced for self-use and can also be sold, thus increasing the profit margin and generating more income. 13. Mushrooms can be processed into various types of food, which will give an added value.
(Mushrooms being highly perishable, they must be quickly sold or processed)

14. Mushrooms can be consumed providing high levels of proteins and vitamins to all family members.

TRAINING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Three in one training Three-in-one training Rehabilitation + Mushroom cultivation + Enterprise development As trainers, you must be prepared to advise trainees in three very distinct and different areas: 1. Rehabilitation of the mind: To give them more confidence To prepare them for a happier life To render them self-reliant To get them to believe they CAN DO. of the spirit: They must accept who they are They must accept how they are They must accept their difference They must learn about others of the body: They must learn to do things They must learn to do things differently They must learn to control their body They must learn to accomplish new tasks 2. Mushroom cultivation: Nature of Mushrooms and their properties Basic knowledge in PDA, tissue culture and spawning Producing bags Techniques in mushroom cultivation Packaging Marketing Processing Waste management and recycling Troubleshooting for pest and disease control How to build a mushroom house

3. Enterprise development: How to set up an enterprise How to make this enterprise profitable Basic bookkeeping

TRAINING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Obligations and responsibilities

Obligations and responsibilities

Training and training related duties

Oversee operation procedures Prepare recruitment announcement Organize trainees application Arrange trainees registration data Prepare for training Visit all pre-selected trainees Select disabled people for training Organize opening and closing ceremonies Set-up an exhibition as a demonstration for opening and closing ceremonies Prepare equipment Prepare training material Study food properties and suitable substrates Prepare trainees for training Prepare site Oversee trainees regulation Arrange for entertainment activities during evenings and weekends. Select expert guest speakers Send trainees back to their home Follow-up and assess trainees who completed training Organize meeting to report all details of assessment Continuously study to acquire more knowledge to better teach trainees Coordinate loans for trainees (guidance on procedures) Teach all skills necessary in mushroom cultivation as per THE TRAINING section. Set-up sub-groups for training activities Arrange for visual and hands-on training Show trainees how to accomplish each task Give suggestions to trainees on various ways of accomplishing each task Show alternate methods of accomplishing each task Explain the purpose of each task involved in mushroom cultivation to trainees Show various options for processing mushrooms Give basic knowledge in marketing Give basic knowledge in business management Visit successful mushroom farms in the region Visit people selling mushrooms Test trainees for theory and practice Review and adapt teaching approaches when required Give advice in case of problems Review training and make recommendations for future training

TRAINING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Obligations and responsibilities

Administrative duties
Registration and documentation Arrange for vehicle to pick-up and send back trainees to and from centre. Arrange for accommodation of trainees and trainers Arrange for medical care Administer budget for training Oversee payments Keep CLEAR accounting Deal with expert guest lecturers Cooperate with other mushroom farms to further study and train Cooperate with companies and owners of mushroom farms for equipment and materials used in mushroom cultivation Cooperate with office of Provincial Public Welfare Cooperate with local Ministry of Agriculture Cooperate with municipal, sub-district, district and provincial government administration

Maintenance of mushroom farm

Maintain premises and buildings in good working condition. Continue production of mushroom bags to ensure continuous income and readiness for future training Continue sales of produced mushrooms Promote and give knowledge to outside visitors and interested people. Give advice to people visiting the farm interested in mushroom cultivation Organize meetings and discussions every 15 days

TRAINING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Obligations and responsibilities

Financial assistance for trainees

Both technical and financial support will be needed by trainees to help them set up their new enterprise. In many countries, governments have set up special funds to help people with disabilities in enterprise development. These vary in terms of amount and whether they are loans with interest, interest free, or special grants. Information regarding these loans can be found at local municipal or provincial administration offices, or through various ministries responsible for the wellbeing of people with disabilities namely ministry of labor and social welfare, ministry of health, and other ministries, depending on the country. Trainers should get relevant information to assist trainees in preparing all necessary documents needed when applying for financial support. Trainers should also help follow up granting of financial support and monitor payment of loans by giving advice in income management, when needed.

Daily book keeping and financial management

Simple yet accurate accounting must be kept on a daily basis. It is highly advisable that all moneys go through a bank account in order to ensure close monitoring of income and expenses. Specifically in the case of mushroom cultivation, mushrooms are harvested and sold on a daily basis and therefore generate regular income. Trainers may also be in a position to supply raw materials to trainees and therefore raw materials will be sold regularly. In order to ensure daily monitoring, it is necessary to keep several financial records. Financial records required

Monthly cash flow statement (on a daily basis writing all expenses, income and balance;

2. Inventory book (including all raw materials with purchase prices, date of purchase, suppliers name) 3. Mushroom sales record (for all daily sales of mushrooms ) 4. Raw materials sales record (for all raw materials sold to ex-trainees or other buyers) 5. Credit control system (with specific credit notes with accounts receivables giving the precise date of purchase, name of buyer, item purchased, quantity, price and total amount, payment due date). 6. Petty cash voucher system (for quick purchasing of necessary goods) 7. Cash book (following bank in flows and out flows)

TRAINING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Alternate ways of doing things Alternate ways of doing things Answering specific needs Although people with disabilities are capable of accomplishing all tasks involved in mushroom cultivation, certain adaptations and strategies need to be developed. Two people with the same disability may not have the same abilities and therefore it is necessary to fully understand both disability and capability. Each person is different. Creative thinking Trainees themselves will develop their own personal ways of doing things. Nevertheless, trainers need to give direction and options. The best example can be seen in the following pictures, which shows how a person can use the feet to replace the inability of using two hands. Making substrate bags generally needs the use of two hands. Each step in making bags can be done with the help of feet.

Filling the bag

Holding bag

Placing plastic ring

Tying bag with rubber band 9

TRAINING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Collaboration and partnerships Collaboration and partnerships Awareness of new training programs and collaboration with other agencies and organizations will help disabled trainees reintegrate society and become fully active members of their community. Furthermore, some agencies can offer know-how in personal development, mushroom cultivation and business development. For example, teaching institutions such as universities and technical colleges may offer courses in agriculture and farm management, which may be useful in the training course. They can be invited as guest lecturers. The following is a reference list of organizations and institutions that should be contacted and requested for collaboration and eventual partnership. Technical colleges Universities Private companies (using mushrooms or involved in agro-industry) Associations Organizations for people with disabilities Local Non Government Organizations International Non Government Organizations Central Government agencies (Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Health, Others) Local Government administrations (Village level, municipal level, subdistrict level, district level, provincial level) International Agencies (United Nations FAO, ILO, UNDP) Opening and closing ceremonies Implications The importance of opening and closing ceremonies needs to be highlighted. These ceremonies offer the opportunity to show to those organizations and institutions what programs are involved along with their objectives. It further shows to governments, both local and central, projects involving people with disabilities and especially demonstrates these peoples will and capabilities. These ceremonies should further encourage political figures to do more in support of people with disabilities. Certificates of achievement As a recognition of the trainees perseverance and capability of learning about mushroom production, certificates of achievement should be remitted to each trainee. It is a low cost yet high impact incentive, which confirms to all people within the trainees family and community that they have successfully completed the course in mushroom production. 10

TRAINING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Operational recommendations

Operational recommendations Training must take into consideration local activities of disabled trainees. Many disabled people work as laborers and their work is very seasonal. In Asia, rice planting and harvesting are the most important periods of the year where farmers generate their annual income. Training during this period is therefore difficult. Budget administration needs to be well planned in order to avoid misunderstanding during disbursements. There can be major gaps in the learning capabilities of trainees. Members of the training group must be encouraged to help one another. Trainees need to develop a sense of belonging to the group of trainees and trainers. If all trainees help each other, the group will learn more and will be happier. A specific work plan needs to be well prepared in order to foresee the number of bags per day to be made, the inoculation process and others tasks. This work plan will help guarantee purchasing and supply of materials needed for training, and timely delivery without operation stand-stills. Close communication between all concerned officers, trainers and consultants is necessary. All trainers must feel ready to give training in mushroom cultivation, following the extensive training course. It is highly recommended that one trainer be an expert in mushroom cultivation or that close cooperation with an expert be established to ensure troubleshooting for pest and disease control. As trainers, you are not expected to master these problems but to understand basic pest and disease control, management, and you must have access to experts in mushroom cultivation. Information on a variety of mushrooms is necessary so that trainees can choose the most appropriate types of mushrooms to grow on their farm. Trainers must be aware that it is impossible to close the farm during weekends. Farmers must work seven days a week and therefore, trainers may need to arrange a schedule that will allow them to work more than five days a week or arrange a rotation schedule among trainers. Trainees must have access to mushroom houses and have transportation so that they can continue to collect and sell mushrooms on the market during weekends. 11

TRAINING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Operational recommendations

Mushrooms collected during training also need to be sold and therefore proper transportation will need to be organized along with expenses for the vehicle and driver (gasoline, insurance). Clear and precise methodology and applications in mushroom cultivation must be followed by all trainers. This is necessary so that the same approach be used and taught to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. All trainers should receive regular supplemental training. One of the most efficient ways of improving cultivation skills is to cultivate, to work hands-on in the various stages of mushroom cultivation at the training center, and to participate in lectures given by guest speakers who are experts in their field. Marketing needs to be addressed as a priority. Without proper marketing, products may not sell easily. Trainees need to develop their own marketing strategies in order to survive in a highly competitive market. When it comes to business, some people will abuse any competitor, whether disabled or non-disabled. Trainees may not show much interest in tissue culture, spawning and inoculation of bags because it is time consuming; many just want to grow mushrooms. Trainees should, nevertheless, have basic knowledge and experience of the whole process involved in mushroom cultivation since some of them will be interested. Mentally disabled trainees will need special guidance and direction. They can be very clever and make very good mushroom farmers. Their attention to minute details sometimes makes them better in the maintenance of their mushroom farm and therefore, generate yields that are sometimes higher than non-mentally disabled people.



Monitoring and Evaluation Following training, it is necessary to evaluate trainees. Check acquired knowledge. Verify that trainees can accomplish each task during training. Following training, verify acquired knowledge in mushroom cultivation. If there is some part that is not well understood, which is necessary for starting the business, it must be clarified before sending back trainees to their home. Check mushroom house at trainees home Once trainees have returned home to set-up a mushroom house, trainers must go and visit them to make sure that the mushroom house is ready and properly constructed. Make sure trainees received their raw material If the training center supplies raw materials necessary for trainees, it makes it easy to monitor delivery and quality. However, if trainees need to buy their materials from the market, trainers should make sure that trainees are taught how to select the right materials. Frequency of visits Trainers must regularly visit trainees at their home at the beginning of their new enterprise; at least once a month. Once trainees are comfortable and sure of themselves, frequency can be set to once every three months, then once every six months. Monitoring should be conducted at least once a year to make sure that everything is fine. Check sustainability Trainers must verify the income and yield of mushroom farms to verify whether the farm is profitable or not. Trainers should strongly encourage trainees to keep clear records of sales and expenses. If the farm is not profitable, trainers are expected to be capable of identifying the causes and help solve the problems. Permanent support Trainers must monitor problems of trainees whether they are technical in mushroom cultivation, or social because of family or community. Close interagency collaboration will help minimize problems and can help solve those encountered. For technical problems, trainers may refer to a specialist in mushroom cultivation from the Ministry of Agriculture or from a University. A resource person close to the trainees farm would be an advantage. Encouraging support from family and community Trainers must encourage family and community members to support trainees in their new enterprise. Trainers can offer to follow-up on financial support requested by trainees, whether it has been received, and give advice on its reimbursement. Keep notes of all visits and meetings with ex-trainees Trainers should log all visits to trainees including problems and solutions. This will help continuous and future monitoring and verify if there is any improvement or deterioration in the situation of trainees. These changes can be in mushroom production, in income generation, in their livelihood, their eating habits, in their emotional state. These notes should be placed in a special file accessible to all trainers and management team members. 13






Adaptation for people with disabilities In order to train people correctly, it is necessary that a proper mushroom farm be set for training. Large or small, the mushroom farm must offer all the facilities encountered on a commercial farm as to give hands-on experience to trainees. Annex 2 gives a detailed description of all buildings and equipment required for an appropriate training center. Buildings There should be one incubation house for three fruiting body houses. This allows rotation of the mushroom bags. Mushroom houses must take into account ventilation, humidity, temperature and light, while buildings and equipment need to be adapted for use and accessibility by people with disabilities. In order for people with disabilities to perform, it is necessary to create a friendly environment. This means to take into account the various disabilities that can be encountered in disabled trainees, and adapt all buildings, tools and equipment, as required. Adapted facilities

Paved roads and access ramps to all buildings

A water trench around the mushroom house limits the entry of ants and other bugs, and allows wheelchairs to enter without difficulty. (This trench must be cleaned at least twice a month).



Doors wide enough for easy access by people in wheelchairs and tricycles.

Aisles inside mushroom houses must also allow movement and work

Height of mushroom racks must allow people sitting in wheelchairs or unable to stand to access to highest level.

The layout diagram of a commercial size mushroom production center can be found in Annex 1 and be used as reference. Basic designs and materials are different in the case of a commercial farm and for a small private farm. These changes are necessary to lower costs and make mushroom farming accessible to poor farmers. Trainees need to learn how to make simple inexpensive mushroom houses. Grass, rice straw, dried leaves and other readily available materials can be used efficiently. Pictures of small grass mushroom houses can be found in THE MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: preparing the mushroom house section in the second part of the manual (p.101).



Pasteurization systems Pasteurization systems also need to be adapted for use by people with disabilities. Adapted tools

Pasteurization chamber must be built lower than standard, for easy access by people in wheelchair and those unable to stand.

Pasteurization systems can also be made with used drums and appropriate material. This will be especially interesting for those new entrepreneurs who wish to make their own mushroom bags in order to generate higher income. Details can be found in Preparing the Mushroom House section (p.104). Medium for mushroom bag cultivation The medium used in mushroom bags varies from one farmer to another. Each one hopes to have the best recipe to make high yield, fast growing, sweet and tender mushrooms. A recipe is proposed in the second part of the manual, Producing substrate bags section (pp. 60 61). It can be used for all types of mushrooms cultivated in bags and can be modified through Research and Development. Ingredients used include: Sawdust Rice straw Rice bran Urea Calcium sulfate Calcium carbonate Magnesium sulfate Sugar 19


Other equipment

For appropriate training, teaching equipment such as video and pictures could be most useful, to show how other people with disabilities countered their disabilities. It is most helpful for trainees to see and try different production systems. This will allow them to compare the benefits of each so they can select the one most suitable for their personal needs considering their disability and personal preference.

Tables and chairs for theory, overhead projector, video and television with speakers for visual presentations, white board for supplemental information.




Selection of trainees needs to be conducted under strict criteria and motivation must be carefully assessed. Many people with disabilities are fully capable of accomplishing required tasks however, their motivation needs to be carefully assessed. Therefore, selection remains a key component to ensure sustainability and replicability of the mushroom farm on a private scale. This crucial process can be summarized as follows: The process 1. Review of candidates: Data on people with disabilities vary from country to country. In some cases, the names of people with disabilities are available from local or central government officials. Depending on the country, this could be municipal or provincial authorities, or can be Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare or Ministry of Health. Advertising on radio, television and in newspapers can also help establish a list of people interested in learning about mushroom cultivation and towards becoming entrepreneurs. 2. Pre-selection: Age and disability must be verified. Ideally, ages should range between 20 to 35, although some exceptions made in the past for younger and older candidates have proven justified and rewarding through their dedication and success. Multiple disabled people may have difficulties following a course because of limited mobility, understanding and replicating potential. Candidates with basic literacy will find the training course more enjoyable, theory classes more useful, easier to understand and are generally more likely to succeed as entrepreneurs. 3. Diversity of location: Following a preliminary selection, a diversity of locations should be favored. This will encourage future replication by trainees themselves who will have the opportunity to train their community members. It will also help avoid market saturation 4. Each candidate interviewed at home: Trainers must visit all short-listed candidates at their home. Trainers must verify that candidates have family support, community support and access to land for the set-up of a mushroom house following training. Trainees must be capable of taking care of themselves during training. 5. Verification of commitment: Trainers must further verify the commitment of both family and potential trainees as to their will and readiness to set-up a mushroom house following training. 6. Verification of motivation: Trainers need to ensure that candidates are highly motivated for learning about mushroom cultivation. This can be verified by the fact that potential trainees personally like to eat and enjoy to cook mushrooms that they know about mushrooms from their parents and grand parents and they wish to learn more. 7. Verification of availability: Trainers must make sure that the candidate is able, committed and ready to leave home and learn about mushroom cultivation for the duration of training. In case of multiple disabled persons, a family member should accompany them. 8. Final selection: Trainers must sit together and discuss their visits by reviewing each candidate and deciding whether or not a candidate should be selected, and give the reasons why. Final selection can be made after reviewing all potential trainees. 22

SELECTING TRAINEES: The process Size of group The number of trainees will depend on the number of trainers involved. A ratio of 5/1 or 6/1 has proven successful. With only five to six trainees per trainer, it is possible for a trainer to become closer to trainees and to better understand their physical, psychological and emotional needs during training. The trainer must always keep in mind that this training program is not only about training in mushroom cultivation but also in rehabilitation towards re-integration into society as active and self-reliant participants.

Gender equality Mushroom cultivation can be done without major physical strength thus offering a good opportunity for women who wish to have supplemental income or who wish to develop a new business that will allow them to remain at home with the family. It further allows both women and men with physical and motor disabilities to work from their home rather than travel a distance every day. Care must be taken for women attending the training, that they have separate facilities and good security at night. During training, women can train along with men, and must be allowed the opportunity to express their ideas. Past experience showed that women learn well about mushroom cultivation and in proportion, show higher rate of success in their mushroom enterprise following training. Problems to be avoided The following problems are often encountered during training programs and can be avoided or reduced by following recommended selection criteria. Although each problem can have several solutions, suggestions are made as to solve these encountered problems.

Note: Although strict criteria are followed, some trainees are likely to return home before the end of training. Selection criteria are there to increase chances of sustainability but cannot control unexpected events that may occur in the private lives of trainees. A preliminary selection questionnaire can be found in Annex 3.



Selection criteria Trainees should have left home in the past for 1. Trainees quit or run-away because rehabilitation, training or work, and their they feel home sick. experience should show that they have responded positively. 2. Trainees never left their family. Training closer to home rather than centralized in one far-away location will encourage a greater number of trainees to participate and to stay for the whole duration of training.


Trainees should have already received 3. Trainees never received rehabilitation rehabilitation. People with multiple and therefore may not be able to take care of disabilities usually need special attention and themselves. care; this must always be considered in any training program in terms of facilities and budget. If budget allows, a family member could accompany the multiple disabled person for training. Trainees should have the firm intention of 4. Some trainees are not used to doing setting-up an enterprise in mushroom anything they have always been overproduction following training and therefore protected by their family. They may not wish must attend the training program voluntarily, to learn anything or any trade. not because of family or outside pressure. They must have access to land. 5. Many people over 60 years old never had the opportunity to receive any training and rehabilitation, and now see the opportunity for doing something. They may not be capable of learning easily and will find it difficult to start a new business following training. 6. Some candidates are multiple disabled (more than one physical disability or both physically and mentally disabled); some may be incapable of learning. Teaching a family member may help support multiple disabled. Age selection should be between 18 and 40 years old. Ideally, they should range between 25 and 35 years of age in order to create a more homogenous group. Special care must be taken that all women are not very young compared to older men. The reverse situation would not necessarily have the same detrimental impact.

People that are mentally disabled may need special supervision although they can perform several simple and repetitive tasks. Other members of the group must know about the mental capability of their peers and therefore can assist by giving supplemental advice. For women with disabilities attending 7. Security needs to be assured for training, appropriate facilities are necessary women attending training. to sure security and privacy.



Formal Procedures Application information 1. Preparation of application form as to show background, experience and capabilities of the disabled person as per Annex 3. 2. Announcement through media (television, radio, posters, etc) and by giving disabled people application forms. 3. Request for help to local officials in the selection of trainees, and encourage them to send interested people to apply for training. 4. Rehabilitation centers and Public Welfare offices should advise disabled people and encourage them to apply for training. 5. Applicants should have a letter of recommendation from one of the officials from the village or community as to confirm the trainees interest and commitment to train and work, following training, and to involve local officials in the project. Final selection procedure 1. Committee pre-selects from applications. 2. Committee interviews pre-selected people at their home in order to verify the candidates genuine interest and family/community support. 3. Committee sends a letter to confirm and invite selected disabled people on the dates, venue and schedule of training. 4. In order to facilitate selection, and for convenience in the follow-up and support, it may be helpful if few disabled people come from the same district. People can then help each other so that after training, upon return to their home, they may eventually work together.







Objectives Motivational sessions allow trainees to meet one another and to prepare for their community life during training. It is a moment of relaxation, reflection and contemplation.

The main objectives of these sessions can be summarized as follows: Trainees, Learn more about themselves Learn about others and their disabilities Learn to accept what they are and how they are Learn about positive thinking Have to be convinced that they CAN DO what they want if they set their mind to it. Learn about food and dining habits Learn to pray, to meditate, and to exercise their body and mind through songs, plays and creative games Learn to love Learn to resolve problems

Trainees must set their own limits and not let other people determine what they can and cannot do. These sessions should make trainees feel like they are part of a large family. The following pages propose and outline, which has been successful with groups of trainees. It should serve as a reference and be adapted according to local customs and traditions.


MOTIVATIONAL SESSIONS: Proposed outline Proposed outline First series of motivational sessions WEEK No. 1 DAYS No. 2-4 1 TOPIC / TRAINING DETAILS Motivational sessions. Development for a better quality of life (by special trainers) On the first day -Welcome to the New Family -Learn about table manners -Learn about yourself -Talk, Play game and sing songs -How about Love -Divide group to learn about love and anger -Arrange a show with the group -Play the drama of life (emphasize to learn more about yourself) -Pray Meditate Reflect on Contemplate On the second day -Learn to concentrate and maintain concentration -Exercise body -Learn to love your family and peers -Play games and music -Learn to accept others as they are -Learn to accept things and events that you cannot change -Build strength and courage to change what you can change -Learn to know the difference between what you can and cannot change -Play games and music -Divide into sub-groups and discuss family relations, problems and solutions. -Prepare a show -Play the drama of life the family -Pray Meditate Reflect on Contemplate On the third day -Pray Meditate Reflect on Contemplate -Exercise body -The importance of work in life. Relationships with family and society and relevance to work. -Play games and music -Farewell celebration Till we meet again PERIOD

Morning Morning Morning Afternoon Afternoon Afternoon Evening Evening

Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning Afternoon Afternoon Evening Evening Evening Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning



Second series of motivational sessions 5 2-3 Motivational sessions. Development for a better quality of life (by special trainers) On the first day Give gratefulness and respect to teachers and elders Cherish the moment Open your mind to be able to solve individual problems Sort problems, understand them in order to solve them together with your peers Offer ways and solutions to solve problems to your peers Camp fire evening while learning about people and life 2 On the second day -The groups mission: to continue to help and Morning support each other, their family and friends. To maintain self-control, self discipline. To always be active, patient, respectful of others. To always try to help those who need help. -Farewell activity Morning Morning Morning Morning Afternoon Afternoon Evening



THE TRAINING: Learning about mushrooms

Learning about mushrooms Trainers need to have solid knowledge on mushroom cultivation in order to train others. Trainers must be capable of teaching about mushrooms, their health properties and benefits, their cultivation, processing and how to run a mushroom production farm. More specifically, trainers need to learn about the various tasks involved in the whole process of mushroom cultivation, the various types of cultivation according to the various types of mushrooms, and the processing and transformation of cultivated mushrooms. Several specialists, teachers and speakers can participate in the training, thus offering a wider approach and maintaining more interest for trainees. Training is divided into two parts: a theoretical understanding and practical hands-on experience. A detailed description of the various tasks involved in mushroom cultivation can be found in the second part of this manual. Each of these tasks requires certain abilities and therefore can be difficult or impossible to perform in a conventional way by some people with certain disabilities. Alternative approaches for accomplishing certain tasks need to be developed by trainers to help trainees develop their own strategic ways of accomplishing all tasks required in mushroom cultivation. Trainees that have become trainers are in the best position to teach other trainees about different ways of accomplishing required tasks.


THE TRAINING: Learning about mushrooms

From Theory to practice The following section is an intensive review of what you, as a TRAINER, should know about mushroom cultivation. It is highly recommended that if you have no experience in mushroom cultivation, you should identify an expert that will give you intensive training and continuous technical support. From theory Theory Nature of Mushrooms Mushroom cultivation as a business Mushrooms around the country Mushroom tissue culture Mushroom spawn production Practice Tissue culture PDA Spawn production Sorghum seed production Mushrooms in the wild and on markets To practice

Theory Substrate bag production Incubation Harvesting Paddy straw mushroom production and harvesting Mushroom marketing

Practice Substrate bags production Management of incubation and fruiting body Mushroom bed production and harvesting and marketing Processing techniques and recipes

Theory Equipment, tools and mushroom marketing Waste management and mushroom cycle business Mushroom farm management Mushroom processing Mushroom farmers collaboration Pest and diseases

Practice Visit to mushroom processing Visit to canning site Mushroom processing (Hed sawan or mushroom sweets) Mushroom drying Packaging Pest and disease management

Trainers must fully understand physical and mental requirements to perform certain tasks before selecting trainees. Generalizations are not always possible because of individual differences and capabilities. Experience will be the best reference.


THE TRAINING: Continuous need for training

Continuous need for training Regular training is necessary for trainers to fully understand all tasks involved in mushroom cultivation as to ensure that people with disabilities will be capable of accomplishing the required tasks and that they will not be subjected to needless failure and frustrations. Overall, capacities to be evaluated in trainees can be summarized as follows: Capable of using hands (or use of artificial limb) Capable of moving freely (with legs or wheel chair / tricycle) Capable of seeing Capable of hearing Capable of speaking Capable of basic understanding Capable of decision making

In the case where one or several of these abilities are incapacitated or reduced in some way, alternate ways of accomplishing required tasks will need to be developed by trainers. Trainers will support and give direction to new ways of accomplishing tasks in order for trainees to become fully capable of becoming successful mushroom cultivation entrepreneurs. Training approach Training is conducted as a hands-on experience with some basic theory for better understanding on the meaning of the activity. You, as trainers, must closely monitor procedures and actions as to show trainees how to develop easiness in accomplishing all required tasks. Not all trainees will be capable of fully understanding each step involved in mushroom cultivation. Many will not even wish to get involved in the more complex tasks such as spawning, inoculation and even making their own bags. For most trainees, their objective is to cultivate mushrooms, and to sell these harvested mushrooms on the fresh market in order to generate income. This means, they want to buy inoculated bags ready for fruiting. These bags can often be bought locally from nearby mushroom farms, or can be supplied by the training center, thus generating income for the center. Nevertheless, some trainees will want to make their own bags and even sell already inoculated substrate bags to increase their income. This, associated with the cultivation itself, can generate an interesting profit when managed properly. Trainees are expected to return home and set-up a mushroom farm following training. Close monitoring will then be needed to support trainees in their new venture.


THE TRAINING: Continuous need for training

Start-up procedure Although official training starts on the day of the opening ceremony, formalities are necessary prior to this beginning. 1. Registration of trainees and organization for accommodation 2. Meetings and discussions with trainees to review regulations at center and guidelines for training 3. Preparation of opening ceremony. 4. Opening ceremony should include municipal and provincial officials from Public Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare as to make sure that people know of the project and continue to encourage disabled people to pursue enterprise development. 5. On the second day, trainees will be divided into four sub-groups (each sub group should have about 4-6 persons) 6. In order to facilitate hands-on experience necessary in mushroom cultivation, training is to be separated into 4 main sectors of activities, as follows: 1. Preparation of sawdust bags (sieving, mixing, bagging, transfer materials for inoculation); waste management for each step (composting, recycling), cultivation. 2. Pasteurization and inoculation, (including materials, cleaning, recording, labeling) 3. Incubation and fruiting body (carry bags from incubation to fruiting body, diseases management, watering, ventilation) 4. Harvesting, packaging, processing, marketing. Invited guest speakers are always most welcomed by both trainers and trainees. Aside from reducing the monotony of always dealing with the same trainers, guest speakers are able to share their own experience as specialists or entrepreneurs in mushroom production. Preferred speakers are successful entrepreneurs who have surmounted the problems of disease, pest and who have a good understanding of the market. Furthermore, because of individual differences and preferences, each successful mushroom production entrepreneur introduces its own personal way of producing mushrooms. By inviting several speakers, trainers A disabled successful entrepreneur in mushroom cultivation talks about his personal experience to learn that there is not one but various methods of interested trainees cultivating mushrooms successfully. The following schedule is based on a nine weeks training program. There should be flexibility in the number of days allocated for different learning activities since each group, each individual, will learn differently according to intellectual and physical capabilities. 35

THE TRAINING: Proposed schedule

Proposed schedule Week



Activity Welcoming new trainees. Meeting between trainers and trainees.



Registration of trainees and organization for accommodation. Meetings and discussions with trainees to review regulations at center and guidelines for training. Preparation of opening ceremony.
Invited guest speakers and trainers discuss the difficulties of life and how to surmount them. Hands-on practice: Divide trainees into subgroups. Basic explanations of the task followed by hands on experience and repetition of tasks, under the close supervision of one or few trainers. Those trainees that already have some knowledge are encouraged to help other trainees.

2-3 3-4

Motivational sessions. Group 1 (1)*, 2 (2), 3 (3), 4 (4)

Guest speakers Trainers

1 1 day

2 3

4-5 1-2

Official opening with all trainees, trainers, municipal and provincial officials. Overview on mushrooms. The mushroom world. How it is in nature, humidity needed ventilation, light, diseases and insects. How they can see mushrooms in their natural environment. What are the nutrients, medicinal properties, poisonous and non-poisonous species, recipes and other uses for mushrooms. Group 1 (1), 2 (2), 3 (3), 4 Hands-on practice. (Second week) (4) How to estimate the sufficient amount manageable by the person. The amount is different for each person and is to be determined by the person itself. Close observation is crucial for successful cultivation. General Microbiology & How microbes grow in nature. How are they Mushroom culture. cultivated scientifically in an aseptic way. How this can be used to grow spawn on jelly, moss and rice. Group 1 (2), 2 (3), 3 (4), 4 Hands-on practice. (Rotation of groups.) (1) Mushroom cultivation in plastic bags. Management in mushroom house. Technique in cultivation methods and tactics in management. Control of temperature, humidity, and ventilation. Mushroom lovers.

Opening Ceremony.

All Guest speaker

Trainers Guest speaker

1 day

Guest speaker Trainers Guest speaker

3 4

4-5 days 1


THE TRAINING: Proposed schedule

4 4

4-5 1

Group 1 (2), 2 (3), 3 (4), 4 Hands-on practice. (Second week). (1) Diseases and pests. How to identify and control. Chemical and alternative natural methods to protect mushroom production. Personal development towards a better quality of life. Group 1 (3), 2 (4), 3 (1), 4 Hands-on practice. (Rotation of group). (2) Mushroom spawn (in agar How to develop spawn, and to select the one and seed). that is clean and healthy. How to identify various types of spawns. Packaging & Marketing. Strategies for packaging and marketing in remote communities. Group 1 (3), 2 (4), 3 (1), 4 Hands-on practice. (Second week). (2) Mushroom cultivation in logs & Straw mushrooms cultivation. Waste Management. Other types of mushrooms can be cultivated on logs and with rice straw. These use different cultivation techniques. Motivational sessions.

Guest speaker Guest speakers Trainer Guest speaker Guest speaker Trainers Guest speaker Guest speaker Trainers Guest speaker Guest speaker Trainers Trainers Trainers All

5 5 6 6 6 7

2-3 4-5 1 day 1 day 4-5 1

7 7 7

1 4-5 1

How to convert mushroom cultivation waste into organic fertilizer. Reuse and recycling. Group 1 (4), 2 (1), 3 (2), 4 Hands-on practice. (Rotation of group). (3) Processing. Transformation of mushrooms into hed sawan a type of sweet snack, and other types of snacks and foods. Running a feasible small-scale business in mushroom production. Group 1 (4), 2 (1), 3 (2), 4 Hands-on practice. (Second week). (3) Field trips. Evaluation of training. Closing ceremony. Visits of Small and medium size mushroom farms in the region. To verify how well each trainee has learned all necessary tasks towards successful mushroom enterprise. Remittance of achievement certificates to trainees. Enterprise development.

8 8 9 9 9

1-2 4-5 5 2 1

*Remark: The number in bracket defines certain activities (1) = Preparation of sawdust bags (sieving, mixing, packaging, transfer, materials for inoculation), also waste management. (composting recycling), cultivation. (2) = Pasteurization and inoculation, (including, materials, cleaning, recording, labeling). (3) = Incubation and fruiting body (carry bags from incubation to fruiting body, check diseases, watering). (4) = Harvesting, packaging, processing, marketing.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Introduction to mushroom cultivation



MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Introduction to mushroom cultivation

INTRODUCTION Mushrooms can be found in forests around the world. Given the proper environment, mushrooms will grow and can offer a good source of natural vitamins and minerals. Mushrooms can also bring illness and even death to people who are unaware of certain types of wild mushrooms. Cultivated mushrooms are therefore the preferred and most reliable source of supply. Mushrooms are commonly used for various dishes in different shapes and forms. The most commonly and easily cultivated mushrooms in Thailand and in South East Asian countries are oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus Ostreatus), ear mushrooms (Auricularia polytricha), and straw mushrooms (Volvariella volvacea). Other types of mushrooms such as Lentinula sp., Lentinus sp., Ganoderma sp., Macrocybe sp., Agrocybe sp. types can also be cultivated successfully but will require more attention and knowledge. It is therefore recommended that a new comer in mushroom cultivation start with easy to grow and commercially viable mushrooms. This guide is an introduction to mushroom cultivation and will give basic knowledge and techniques required in mushroom cultivation. All tasks illustrated have been performed by disabled trainees with the exception of straw mushrooms, which is performed by trainers for demonstration purposes. Disabled trainees are fully capable of accomplishing ALL tasks required in mushroom production. All facilities have been adapted to cater for people with disabilities and some manipulations were modified to be more suited to people with specific disabilities. Introduction to mushroom cultivation Mushroom cultivation can be summarized with the following major steps: Step 1. About mushrooms Step 2. Producing PDA medium Step 3. Selecting tissue culture Step 4. Multiplying spawn on sorghum seeds Step 5. Producing substrate bags Step 6. Pasteurizing bags Step 7. Inoculating bags with sorghum seeds Step 8. Incubating bags Step 9. Opening bags Step 10. Maintaining and monitoring Step 11. Harvesting Step 12. Cultivating straw mushrooms Step 13. Packaging Step 14. Marketing Step 15. Processing Step 16. Waste management and recycling Step 17. Troubleshooting Step 18. Preparing the mushroom house Step 19. Starting the business Step 20. Keeping records


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Introduction to mushroom cultivation

Step 1. About mushrooms There are three different groups of mushrooms. Selecting the right type of mushrooms to be cultivated must be based on climatic conditions and market demand. Mushrooms offer a wide range of proteins, vitamins and minerals necessary for the body and are becoming more popular and in demand. Step 2. Producing PDA medium How to well prepare spawn production is necessary for proper spawn multiplication. This part can be extended in further projects, in the case where a disabled person wishes to expand his knowledge and start spawn production. Only those trainees that are especially interested in this part will have specific activities and hands on training. In general, this part will be only theoretical. Step 3. Selecting tissue culture A young, fresh and very healthy mushroom is used to prepare a tissue culture. This procedure is very delicate and requires extensive understanding and an extremely clean environment. It may not be suitable for beginners in mushroom cultivation. Step 4. Multiplying spawn on sorghum seeds This is also a highly specialized part of mushroom production and will attract only a few trainees due to its complexity. Therefore, only basic theory will be given, mostly in the classroom. Trainees should, however, know how to select and buy good quality spawn from various suppliers. They should also know all steps involved in mushroom cultivation to allow future expansion of their mushroom farm. Step 5. Producing substrate bags Extensive practice will be required by trainees to make sure that they can produce spawn bags by themselves or be able to verify the quality of bags of spawn bag producers. This is handson training and will be, with the subsequent steps, the focus of training. Step 6. Pasteurizing bags Pasteurization is necessary to completely sterilize substrate bags. If bags are not properly pasteurized due to insufficient residence time in the pasteurization chamber or because temperature is insufficient, bags will be contaminated resulting in poor growth of mushrooms or complete spoilage of bags. Step 7. Inoculating bags with sorghum seeds Inoculation must be done with extreme caution. It is an extremely delicate step that will ensure higher yield with disease free substrate bags. Work must be done near a flame from an alcohol lamp during inoculation. Step 8. Incubating bags During incubation, moisture, light, temperature and ventilation must be monitored constantly. Incubation time will differ according to the type of mushroom and climatic conditions. Step 9. Opening bags Following incubation, mushroom bags must be opened according to the type of mushrooms.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Introduction to mushroom cultivation Step 10. Maintaining and monitoring Maintenance of the mushroom house is crucial for higher yields. When kept clean, there are less insects and pest, less diseases. Bags must be checked individually and kept clean. Step 11. Harvesting Harvesting should be done at least twice a day to ensure that mushrooms are selected young and healthy. When harvested at the right time, not too big, mushrooms can keep for a longer time and their taste is sweeter and more delicious. Depending on the type of mushroom, one substrate bag can produce a total of 250 to 500 grams of mushrooms. Step 12. Cultivating straw mushrooms Straw mushrooms are very popular in South East Asia and are cultivated using a straw bed. Because of their popularity and market demand, it is interesting to learn how to cultivate this type of mushroom. Step 13. Packaging When selling on the fresh food market or from the farm directly very little packaging is required. Most people use plastic or paper bags. Step 14. Marketing Marketing remains the key to a successful enterprise. Care must be taken to always review the competition and to offer clients reliability of supply and quality of mushrooms. Step 15. Processing Processing of mushrooms is limited only by a persons imagination. There are already numerous methods and recipes, which can offer value, added products. Nevertheless, in rural areas, the market may be small because of financial limitations. Step 16. Waste management and recycling Waste must be handled properly in each step of the mushroom cultivation process. Recycling and utilization of waste is not only a good way of preserving our environment but also of saving money. Step 17. Troubleshooting It is necessary to know the most common problems found in mushroom production, their symptoms and their remedies. Although this section will never replace the advice of an expert, it should help solve basic problems and help identify problems before they occur. Step 18. Preparing the mushroom house Mushroom houses can be built for as little as 500 Baht (US$ 12) made of readily available yet appropriate materials such as rice straw, grass, dried leaves, used rice bags and tree branches. Step 19. Starting the business As an entrepreneur in mushroom production, it is necessary to have basic knowledge in management and bookkeeping. This will allow tracking of profit and losses. Step 20. Keeping records Keeping records is very important since it allows monitoring of all expenses incurred in mushroom production. It also allows to verify how much profit is generated in the business and identify how certain costs can be reduced in order to generate more profit. 42


Step 1. About mushrooms

Nature of mushrooms Mushrooms or fungi do not contain chlorophyll; they must feed on plants or animal matter. Some mushrooms feed only on dead matter while others feed on living plants or animals, which they sometimes harm or benefit. Mushrooms need a controlled environment with appropriate humidity, light, temperature, ventilation, air pressure, pH and nutrients. They also need a disease free environment. There are three different groups of mushrooms or fungi: 1. Saprophytes Those Fungi or Mushrooms that feed on dead plants or animals. Pleurotus Ostreatus or Hed Nangrom is an example of this group. Saprophytes are useful as they help breakdown dead matter. 2. Parasites Those Fungi or Mushrooms that feed on living plants or animals. Many parasites damage and sometimes kill plants or animals they live on. 3. Symbiotic fungi Symbiotic fungi grow on living plants, but do not damage them. The fungus and plant help each other. Fly Agaric grows symbiotically with birch or pine trees and its mycelium grows around the tree roots. The tree provides the fungus needed sugar and the fungus gives the tree nutrients it has broken down from dead leaves. This process allows birch trees to survive in poor soil. Mycelium living buried in soil or substrate, and mushroom (or fruit body) which appears above ground or substrate, are made-up of tiny thread-like tubes called hyphae. Mycelium is made of loosely arranged hyphae while mushroom is made of tightly packed hyphae. Hyphae develop from spores that are produced in the gills of a mushroom. Thousands of tiny pollen-like spores are produced in the gills of a mushroom. When the spores are ripe, they are carried away by the wind. The parent mushroom quickly decays. If a spore lands on a suitable surface, it germinates to produce a thread-like hyphae. There are two types of spore, positive (+) and negative (-). A mushroom will only form if hyphae from + and spores join to form a new hyphae containing both types. If conditions are right (enough food and moisture) this new hyphae grows and forms a tangled mass of threads. Eventually the mass of threads formed a button which begins to grow out of the soil or substrate thus creating a mushroom.



Uses for mushrooms Mushrooms can be used as food (fresh, snacks, sweets) as medicine and for industrial purposes (coloring, adsorbents). Nutritional values in mushrooms Mushrooms provide high protein and essential amino acids. Low in fat and high in fiber, they also provide vitamins thus stimulating the immune system. Eating two to three types of mushroom per day can provide the proper amount of essential amino acid required by the body. It also supplies high levels of protein and vitamins. Normally, one adult can consume about 200-800 gram per day. For elderly people and children, 200 and 500 grams are sufficient. Table 1. Nutritional values of mushrooms (a few examples)
Water Calories Variety Oyster mushrooms Hed lom Ear mushrooms Straw mushrooms gm 90.7 62.9 90.30 89.9 Fats Carbohyd Proteins Fiber Ashe rate s Calories gm Gm gm gm Gm 32.4 0.043 5.67 2.13 0.396 0.54 114 30.96 32.4 0.02 0.013 0.071 26.23 6.94 4.75 2.27 0.77 3.16 6.78 Ca mg 1.32 Minerals Fe mg 1.08 Vitamins Vit. Vit. Vit. C B1. B2. mg mg mg mg 55.76 0.004 0.06 0.82 P 94.24 0 0.02 0 -

1.40 141.43 4.09 27.96 5.56 3.09 1.27

1.474 0.32 0.59 0.99

16.96 0.001 0.09

105.8 0.011 0.014 0.67

Source: Dr. Sunan Pongsamart & staff. Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Chulalongkorn University of Thailand.



Health properties of mushrooms Studies show that certain types of mushrooms have a direct impact on body activities.
Hed Khon Hed Fang Hed Muerk Hed Hu-noo Hed Kradum Hed Hua-ling Hed Nangrom Hed Hom Hed Khemthong Hed Yanagi Hed Kraeng Hed Ranghae(Skirt mushroom) Hed Hu-noo Khao Hed Bod Termitomite sp. Volvariella volvaceae Coprinus sp. Auricularia sp. Agaricus sp. Hericium erinacius Pleurotus sp. Lentinula edodes Flammulina velutipes Agrocybe cylindraceae Schizophyllum commune Dictiophora sp. Trimella fuciformis Lentinus sp. Good for brain and memory Heal wounds Help the digest and decrease phlegm Clean lungs Increase mothers milk Heal wounds in intestine Decrease muscle malpighia Good for babys cartilage Good for liver Good for kidney and urine Decrease leucorrhea Cure dysentery and decrease rotting Good for sperm, semen and Kidney Control the whole body system

Source: Arunyik Mushroom Center.

Cultivated mushrooms Vs wild mushrooms Before eating any mushroom, make sure you have properly identified the specie. Every year, hundreds of people become ill and some even die because they collect wild mushrooms and wrongly identify them. Eating cultivated mushrooms remains the safest way for selecting edible mushrooms. Selecting the right type of mushrooms for cultivation Most of the cultivated mushrooms are from the saprophyte group; there are about 5,000 known species but very few that can be cultivated economically. Select the most suitable type of mushrooms according to your environment and to market demand. The following gives an overview of the most commonly produced mushrooms. Those marked off line are the types of mushrooms introduced in this manual and successfully tested in Thailand.



Table I. Various species cultivate in substrate bags Scientific name Thai common name (color) Pleurotus Butan (Cream) Pleurotus Butan (Black) Pleurotus ostreatus (white) Pleurotus flabellatus (Pink) Pleurotus citrinopileatus (Yellow) Pleurotus Hungarian (Pale blue to grey when young) Pleurotus sapidus (Grey) Pleurotus sajor-cajou (Cream to white grey) Pleurotus tuber-regium (Light brown to gray) Pleurotus cystidiosus (Cream) Pleurotus cystidiosus (Black) Auricularia polytricha (Brown to black) Auricularia auricula (Pale brown) Auricularia polytricha (mutant) (White to pale brown) Tremella fuciformis (White) Agrocybe cylindracea (Brown to dark brown) Agrocybe cylindracea (White) Hericium erinaceus (White) Lentinula edodes (Brown to black brown) Tricholoma crassum (White) Now change to Macrocybe crassum Lentinus polychrous(3) (Brown) Lentinus squarrosulus(3) (White) Lentinus strigosus(3) (Pale brown, Pale purple to pink) Schizophyllum commune (White grey to brown) Flammulina velutipes (Brown) Flammulina velutipes (White) Gigantopanus giganteus (White cream to grey brown) Ganoderma lucidum (Reddish brown) Ganoderma lucidum (Dark purple) Psilocybe cubensis (Cream to yellow brown, stains blue when bruised) Hed Phu-than Hed Phu-than Dum Hed Nang-rom Khao Hed Nang-nuan Hed Nang-rom Thong Hed Nang-rom Hungary Hed Nang-fah Jein Hed Nang-fah Hed Nang-rom Hua Hed Pao-hue Cream Hed Pao-hue Dum Hed Hu-nu-na Hed Hu-nu-bang Hed Hu-nu- Puak Hed Hu-nu- Khao Hed Yana-ngi (Namtarn) Hed Yana-ngi (Khao) Hed Hua ling Hed Hom Hed Teen-raed Hed Lom Hed Khon Khao Hed Hu Kwang Hed Khraeng (Teen-tuk-kae) Hed Khem Thong Hed Khem Ngern Hed Niranam (Pon-tart) Hed Lin Juer (Muern pee) (Jawuark Ngu) Hed Lin Juer (Muern pee) (Ja-wak Ngu) Hed Khee-khwai

Temperature interval C 23-35 22-35 24-35 24-35 24-34 22-35 23-30 20-30 25-37 23-33 20-30 26-36 26-34 26-35 Unknown 22-34 20-32 23-31 20-30 25-36 28-40 28-40 25-35 25-35 8-15 8-20 25-35 24-37 24-35 25-35

Cultivation season in Thailand Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb) ---------------------Summer & rainy season (Mar-Sep) Rainy & cold season. (Jun-Feb) ---Late summer & rainy season (May-Oct) ------Unknown Mid rainy early winter season (Aug-Jan) ---------Mid summer - early winter (Apr-Nov) ---------Summer & rainy season (Jun-Oct) Winter (Nov-Feb) ---Summer, rainy & early winter (Apr-Dec) Summer & rainy season (Apr-Sep) Summer & rainy season (Apr-Sep) Summer & rainy season

Information from Arunyik Mushroom Center. Informal scientific name. Named by David Arora: Author of Mushrooms Demystified Named by Samana Phothiluk: Santi Asoke Buddhism Group, Thailand.



Table II. Various species cultivate using plot method. Scientific name Volvariella volvacea (Thai) (White) Volvariella volvacea (Taiwan) (Black) Volvariella bombycina (Brown yellow) Agaricus bisporus (White) Agaricus bisporus (Brown) Agaricus bitorquis (White) Macrolepiota procera Termitomyces robustus (Grey to dark grey) Source: Arunyik Mushroom Center. Thai common name Hed Fang Thai Hed Fang Taiwan Temperature interval C 29-37 28-38 Cultivation season in Thailand Summer & rainy ----

Hed Fang Si Thong Hed Kradum Khao Hed Kradum Namtarn Hed Kradum Ton Ron (Hed Khee-pet) Hed Kra-dong Hed Khoon

28-38 20-30 20-35 25-30 Experimental 24-28

---Winter (Oct-Jan) ---Late summer & rainy season ---Hot and humid weather




Tissue Culture
1. Prepare materials: Potatoes: 200 gr. Dextrose: 20 gr. Agar powder: 20 gr. Water: 1 liter. Cotton (gauze) Note: Visually check potatoes for spots or rot. Buy dextrose and Agar of commercial grade.

2. Wash and cut potatoes into onecentimeter cubes; leave on or remove the skin.

3. Clean small flat bottles (small whiskey bottles as a container can be used).



4. Place potatoes in one liter of water. Simmer for 15 20 minutes.

5. Remove potatoes & keep the broth as clear as possible. Add water to broth to reach one liter of liquid PDA

6. Bring water to stove. Add dextrose followed by agar. Slowly stir continuously with regular speed until completely dissolved.

7. Pour liquid PDA in bottle until you reach 5 10 mm high.



8. Plug bottle with cotton.

9. Place bottles in autoclave at 121oC for 20 30 minutes to ensure complete sterilization. Let cool down to around 37oC.

10. Place bottles in slanted position as to increase surface area of the medium. PDA should come close to the neck but must not touch the cotton plug. After PDA medium is settled in bottle, transfer all bottles to clean shelf in the clean room.

11. Check for contamination (contamination can be seen when dark spots or lines occur).


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Selecting tissue culture

Selecting tissue culture

1. Prepare materials: Special needle (insulated handle) Alcohol lamp Alcohol Cotton (gauze) Matches or lighter Bottles with PDA Laminar flow cabinet (or protected environment) UV lamp

2. Select a strong mushroom for culture. Healthy. Not too mature, not too young. Not too humid (at least 2-3 hours after watering) With a stiff stalk Make sure it is clean and far from any contaminated mushroom.

3. Clean the room, all necessary tools, inside and outside the laminar flow cabinet with alcohol. Transfer PDA bottles and necessary tools into the chamber.

4. Place all cleaned materials inside laminar flow. Turn on UV lamp and laminar flow. After 10-15 minutes, turn off UV lamp but leave laminar flow for the duration of the operation.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Selecting tissue culture

5. Clean both hands and bottles with alcohol and insert hands into the cabinet.

6. Hold needle with 2 fingers in a 45o-degree angle, flame needle to disinfect until the needle turns red. Make sure it does not touch any surface after flaming.

7. While needle cools down (15-20 seconds hold needle not to touch anything or place it on the clean surface of a glass).

8. Using other fingers, tear mushroom lengthwise (DO NOT use knife to cut).


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Selecting tissue culture

9. With the needle, cut a small piece (2 mm x 2 mm) of fleshy tissue from inside the mushroom (in the middle between the cap and the stalk). Make sure that it is clean and did not touch the outside of the mushroom.

10. Flame around the mouth of the bottle. Using other fingers, remove cotton plug of PDA bottle in front of flame to secure against contamination.

11. Insert the needle in the bottle and inoculate by placing small piece of cut mushroom in the middle of the PDAs surface. Make sure the piece of mushroom does not touch anything before entering the PDA bottle 12. Close bottle immediately near the flame with cotton plug Note: the bottom of the bottle should always be lower than the mouth of the bottle and the mouth of the bottle should remain near the flame at all times.

13. Label bottles and indicate: Date, type of mushroom, mother spawn #.



Culture from PDA to PDA

Because of the extremely delicate nature of tissue culture, it is highly recommended that tissue culture be done in only a few bottles of PDA since there is high risk of contamination. Then, several bottles of PDA can be prepared from the extremely pure mycelium.

9. With the needle, cut a small piece (5 mm x 5 mm) of mycelium on PDA Make sure that the PDA not contaminated.

10. Flame around the mouth of the new PDA bottle. Using other fingers, remove cotton plug of PDA bottle in front of flame to secure against contamination.

11. Insert the needle in the bottle and inoculate by placing small piece of PDA mycelium on the middle of the PDAs surface. Make sure the mycelium PDA does not touch anything before entering the PDA bottle.



12. Close bottle immediately near the flame with cotton plug Note: the bottom of the bottle should always be lower than the mouth of the bottle and the mouth of the bottle should remain near the flame at all times.

13. Label bottles and indicate: Date, type of mushroom, mother spawn #.

14. Whether from tissue culture or PDA to PDA, from the time of incubation to full growth mycelium will take about 10 15 days. (Depending on species).

15. Keep PDA bottles with mycelium on clean shelf.

Check infection by other fungi in the bottle everyday. Also check growth rate.



16. After mycelium covers whole PDA medium, keep mature mycelium in cool place or in the refrigerator in the vegetables section.

17. Check for contamination. Separate contaminated bottles. Transfer contaminated bottles to clean.

18. Keep detailed notes of observations.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Multiplying spawn on sorghum seeds


1. Prepare materials: Sorghum seeds Bottles (flask type) Cotton (gauze) Paper squares 7 cm x 7 cm Rubber bands Alcohol lamp Alcohol bottle Note: Various types of grains can be used: Sorghum, millet, wheat Grains must: Have been recently harvested Contain few broken kernels Little contamination No fungi, no insects No more than 12% humidity

2. Soak sorghum for one night; 2 liters of water per 1 kg of grain. Wash and strain sorghum seeds to remove all water.

3. Steam sorghum seeds for 30-45 minutes to soften grains and cook about 25%.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Multiplying spawn on sorghum seeds

4. Drain water and spread sorghum seeds to cool down and decrease moisture.

5. Fill of bottle with sorghum seeds.

6. Carefully prepare cotton plug

7. Tightly plug mouth of bottle with cotton and leave out for ventilation.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Multiplying spawn on sorghum seeds

8. Transfer all prepared bottles to the sterilization chamber. Close chamber. Fire-up burner or stove to heat chamber. Make sure to release all air from the chamber before starting. Keep pressure in the chamber at 15 lb./sq.inch. or 121o Celsius for 30 minutes for small chambers and 45 minutes for medium chambers. Let bottles cool down.

9. Transfer bottles to a clean and cool place.

10. Bottles must be cleaned and well prepared. Prepare the well verified PDA bottles

11. Clean laminar flow chamber using alcohol.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Multiplying spawn on sorghum seeds

12. Transfer PDA, sorghum seed bottles, paper and rubber bands in laminar flow chamber. Light UV lamp for 10 15 minutes before starting. Place needle in alcohol. Turn off UV. Clean both hands with alcohol and insert hands into the chamber.

13. Using 2 fingers, take out needle, pass through fire as to burn alcohol, and disinfect needle. Make sure the needle turns red.

14. After the needle cooled down to normal state, use needle to cut small square (5mm x 5mm) of PDA with mycelium (white color).

15. Close bottle immediately. Remain near flame at all times.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Multiplying spawn on sorghum seeds

16. Using other hand flame around the mouth and shoulder of the sorghum seed bottle. Using other fingers, open spawn bottle near flame to avoid contamination.

17. Insert needle and inoculate sorghum seeds with PDA mycelium by placing small square piece in the middle of the bottle. Make sure the PDA mycelium does not touch anything before entering the sorghum seeds bottle. Note: The mouth of the bottle should be near the flame. The mouth should remain higher than the bottom part at all times. Do not touch mouth of bottle with piece of PDA.

18. Close bottle immediately.

19. Place square paper over cotton and tie with plastic neck or rubber band. .


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Multiplying spawn on sorghum seeds

20. Label inoculated sorghum bottles writing: Date, Spawn no., ref., and inoculation time. Note: It takes about 10 15 days to get fullgrown sorghum grain mycelium, depending on the species.

21. Keep mature sorghum seeds in a cool place or in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Check for infection regularly.

22. Remove contaminated bottles.

Transfer contaminated bottles to cleaning site. Clean bottles as normal glassware.

23. Observe and collect data. Take notes to draw conclusions. Note: A loss of about 3% is to be expected.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Producing substrate bags


1. Prepare materials: Plastic bags (polypropylene 7 x 12.5) Plastic necks (about 4 cm diameter) Cotton plugs Cover filters (square piece of filter paper) Rubber bands Sawdust (cover top of substrate pile with rice sacks to maintain humidity) Rice bran Calcium sulfate Calcium carbonate Magnesium sulfate

Note: Substrate is the material used to grow mushrooms. This material or substrate is a mixture of all ingredients or food necessary for mushrooms to develop. Although sawdust is the most common and easy to use basic material for making mushroom substrate bags, other alternate and sometimes lower cost materials can be used. For example, in Asia, because of intense rice cultivation,, rice straw can be used since straw is readily available in most rural areas. Because of its lower cost (and local availability) it may be better suited as a substrate than sawdust. Furthermore, rice straw generally generates higher yield and better quality mushrooms; both texture and taste of mushrooms are improved when using straw instead of sawdust. Nevertheless, straw needs to be prepared before use requiring harder work, and fermentation for a period of 9 12 days. 2. Preparing rice straw as substrate: Put straw in grinder to reduce its size. Soak paddy straw 100 Kg. with water and mix with urea 1-2 % by weight, ferment for 3 days. Turn over the pile, then mix with 2% lime and ferment it again 3 days. Turn over the pile again, mix with 0.2% magnesium sulfate, and ferment 3 more days. The last turn over makes the straw readily composted for using as substrate. Check moisture and for a urea smell. If there is no urea smell and the moisture is 65-75%, the substrate is ready for packing. If there is some urea smell, it is necessary to ferment further until there is no more smell. Then pack in size 8 x 12 PP. Bags.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Producing substrate bags 3. Substrate preparation 100 kg Sawdust Add to sawdust: 5 kg Rice bran 2 kg Calcium sulfate 1 kg Calcium carbonate 0.2 kg Magnesium sulfate 0-1 kg Sugar Note: Substrate recipe should serve as a reference. Recipe can be changed by adding some rice flour, sticky rice flour, corn flour, cassava peels, cotton waste, Soya-bean residue, and other nutritious agricultural waste. In cool climates, it is possible to use additives or complementing materials up to 20%. Beware: for hot climatic zones, do not use more than 7.5% additives. (If rice straw, recipe needs to be modified as above mentioned)

4. Weigh all components using scale.

5. Mix well all ingredients in mixer or manually using shovels or paddles

6. Add water to keep moisture content between 65-75 %.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Producing substrate bags

7. Make sure all ingredients are well mixed and that there are no lumps.

8. Sitting on floor, fill plastic bags with substrate using small shovel.

9. Compact substrate by hitting bags with empty bottle, hand,


Use compacting machine.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Producing substrate bags

10. Place plastic ring on bag

11. Pull out top of bag through plastic neck.

12. Fold-down on plastic ring.

13. Tie with rubber band.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Producing substrate bags

14. Introduce stick with pointed head through plastic neck of bag to make hole almost to the bottom of the bag; DO NOT TOUCH BOTTOM of bag.

15. Check weight of bags (should be between 800-1000 grams per bag)

16. Prepare plastic caps to close bags by adding cotton.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Producing substrate bags

17. Close bags with plastic caps.

18. Fill iron racks (9 bags per rack for commercial chamber). Transfer bags to pasteurization chamber.




Country type pasteurization

1. Prepare Equipment 1. Steaming pot country style use 200 liters drums. 2. Firewood. 3. Iron or bamboo screen round shape height 5 inches to fit inside drum.

2. Clean steam pot and add about 4 inches water.

3. Place iron or wooden screen so it comes out 1 inch higher than water.



4. Place bags in pasteurization system until full (between 80 100 bags).

5. Cover everything with double layers of old rice bags.

6. Place plastic over rice bags and close tightly.

7. Light fire and maintain temperature constant for a period of 3 4 hours from the time temperature reaches 90 100oC which is the moment steam starts coming out continuously. Important: Temperature must remain constant and there should always be water in the drum.



8. When completed, take the firewood out of the stove.

9. Let cool down for approximately 20 minutes. Take off cover bags and let cool down more.

10. Transfer bags to inoculation area.



Commercial pasteurization

1. Clean the water reservoir at the bottom of the pasteurization chamber by releasing the valve. Dry with cloth.

2. Refill the water up to the marked level. (Depending on the type of chamber, water needs to be added to produce steam, other types will produce steam in boiler and transfer to chamber)

3. Transfer iron racks into the chamber, one by one until the chamber is full.



4. Close door thermometer.




5. Light burner and leave at 98oC 100oC for 3 4 hours. Make sure all air is released from the chamber when starting to keep the time. (Burner may be located underneath the pasteurization chamber where water is already present, or underneath boiler to generate steam)

6. Open valve to send steam to pasteurization chamber (for boiler generated steam). Make sure all air is released from the chamber when starting to keep the time. Adjust surrounding air using valve (3-4 hrs) Leave to cool down by releasing the door of chamber. (1.5 - 2 hrs).

7. Transfer bags to the already cleaned inoculation area.



Solar heating pasteurization

(optional in replacement of steam pasteurization)

1. Fill substrate bags into the chamber. Clear area and bring substrate bags. Close cover.

2. Be sure that sunlight will reach under the cover. Leave under the sun for one whole day.

3. Transfer bags to inoculation area


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Inoculating bags with sorghum seeds


Note: The inoculation room must be kept very clean and free of diseases to avoid contamination. Avoid sunshine from entering the area. 1. Prepare materials: Alcohol lamp Sorghum coated with spawn Fire Square paper (5 x 5) Rubber bands Cotton Alcohol Pasteurized substrate bags

2. Clean room with broom or dust vacuum Rub the floor with disinfecting solution.

3. Bring substrate bags from pasteurization chamber to inoculation area.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Inoculating bags with sorghum seeds

4. Light alcohol lamp.

5. Disinfect hands and pasteurized substrate bags with alcohol.

6. Take bottle of sorghum coated with spawn (all white color).

7. Shake well bottle against car tire (or old tire) to release sorghum seeds and then, bring bottles to inoculation room. Do not open bottle


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Inoculating bags with sorghum seeds

8. Flame around the bottleneck. Open bottle very close to flame to take out air from inside.

9. Drop 10 20 sorghum seeds coated with spawn in the mushroom bag. Act very quickly and with very little movement.

10. Then bring cotton to close bag as quickly as possible. Repeat for all bags.

11. Leave bottle near the flame until all bags have been inoculated. Then close the bottle.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Inoculating bags with sorghum seeds

12. Following inoculation of all bags, place clean square paper to cover the top of the bag and tie with rubber band.

13. Bring bags to incubation room.




1. Clean around and inside the incubation house using a broom. Always inspect for cleanliness before entering with new spawn bags.

2. After inoculation, transfer substrate bags to mushroom incubation house.

3. Place bags incubation.




4. Incubation. Bags can be placed horizontally or vertically, which takes more space. Note: At the beginning, little ventilation and light should be allowed. After about 10 days, there ventilation should regulate the desired temperature. After 20 25 days, area should be well ventilated and more light can be let in for constant monitoring. 79


INCUBATION PERIOD Type of mushroom Oyster mushrooms

(Pleurotus ostreatus)

Incubation time (weeks) 4

2nd 3rd 4th 5th

Mushroom Flushes* 1st

Production time** (weeks) 5 8 11 14 17 4-5 8-9 11-12 14-15

Beware of mites.

Ear mushrooms
(Auricularia polytricha)

2nd 3rd 4th 5th st


Hed khon kao

(Lentinus squarrosulus)

4-5 or more

2nd 3rd 4th 5th

Hed Lom
(Lentinus polychrous)

4-5 or more

2nd 3rd 4th 5th


Straw mushrooms
(Volvariella volvacea)

3-4 days for mycelium and 4-5 days for fruiting body.

2nd 3rd


5-6 8-9 11-12 14-15 17-18 5-6 8-9 11-12 14-15 17-18 7-9 days 14-16 days 21-23 days

* Flushes means harvesting time or number of harvests **Production time is the number of weeks following inoculation. This will depend on the season and to the amount of care given by farmers. These should serve as an indication only.



5. Visually check mycelium on a daily basis looking for abnormal mycelium (such as black spots, green spots, brown spots, orange or red spots, etc.). Try to find out the causes of abnormal mycelium (PEST, DISEASE).

6. Move bags to fruiting body area (or prepare for fruiting).

7. Separate contaminated bags and pasteurize again or separate partially contaminated bags and open them or tear the plastic bags off and reuse sawdust or ferment substrate as compost for gardening. (See waste management).

8. Observe and collect data. Take notes before conclusions.





1. Clean around and inside the fruiting body house using a broom.

2. Transfer mature spawn bags to the mushroom fruiting body house using a trolley (or prepare them for fruiting). Place bags on shelves.

3. Open bags according to type 3.1 Oyster mushrooms Hed Nangrom

(Pleurotus ostreatus)

Take off cotton plugs.



3.2 Filamentus fungi - Hed Khon Kao

(Lentinus squarrosulus) And

3.3 Hed Lom

(Lentinus polychrous)

Cut plastic bags at the shoulder of the bag using a knife or cutter.

3.4 Ear Mushroom

(Auricularia polytricha)

Cut the side of the plastic bags; four cuts per vertical line and cut on four lines around each bag.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Maintaining and monitoring


1. Spray water to control humidity in mushroom houses. Water often but not much each time. No water should enter the bags. Humidity should not be more than 90% and not less than 75%.

2. Look at the temperature to control the atmosphere in mushroom houses Open or close doors and windows in mushroom houses to control light and ventilation. If temperature is too high, leave doors open during the night to change the air. When people feel comfortable, it means mushrooms are in a good environment.

3. Check for mites and other pests at least twice a week.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Maintaining and monitoring

4. Identify type of pest.

5. Keep bags clean at all times.

6. Allow natural pest control.

7. Identify and separate contaminated bags.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Maintaining and monitoring

8. Manually pick all garbage. Remove contaminated bags and pasteurize again.

9. Keep good and clear records of your mushroom production.




1. Look for mature mushrooms. Mushrooms are ready to be picked 2 3 days after they first appear. Pick mushrooms gently by grasping stalk and pulling out slowly.

Note: Mushrooms must be harvested at the most appropriate time. If too small, they cannot fetch a good price. If too big, their conservation period is reduced; they are not so sweet and tasty. Harvesting should be done two or three times a day.

2. Put mushrooms in order in a basket, about 5-8 kg per basket. Trim and peel by cutting at the base of the stalk to make the mushroom clean. Place mushrooms in basket.

3. Weigh all mushrooms and take notes.

Note: A bag of mushrooms should yield between 250 350 grams of mushrooms in 4 to 5 flushes. Bags lose much of their weight once they have exhausted their production.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Cultivating straw mushrooms


Straw mushrooms can be cultivated as demonstrated by trainers:

1. Plow soil with hoe or spade to make the ground smooth and the soil well aerated.

2. Spread fertilizer slightly to add nutrients.

3. Spread water using watering bottle or hose to saturate humidity in the soil.

4. Prepare reusable wooden frames and place on the ground.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Cultivating straw mushrooms

5. Used mushroom bags are broken and placed inside the wooden frame as growth media. This allows recycling of bags.

6. Break old mushroom bags and use as substrate as follows: 1 layer of broken bags 1 layer of straw mushroom spawn 1 layer of sawdust waste from old bags 1 layer of Broken bags 1 layer of Straw mushroom spawn 1 layer of Sawdust waste from old bags 1 layer of Broken bags 1 layer of Straw mushroom spawn 1 layer of Sawdust waste from old bags Each layer is mixed with waste from cleaning mushrooms.

7. Add water and pack with feet to make cake.

8. Remove wooden frame carefully leaving a medium cake.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Cultivating straw mushrooms

9. Repeat operation several times leaving approximately 20 cm between each cake.

10. Make a drain around the series of cakes to allow drainage of excess water.

11. Place little pieces of wood on the side of the cakes in a slanted manner in order to create a slope.

12. Spread one or two, or as required, plastic sheet(s) in order to fully cover cakes and the pieces of wood to allow the rain to slip into the drain


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Cultivating straw mushrooms

13. Spread hay over the plastic sheet as to maintain humidity, protect sunlight and keep or hold the temperature inside the bed. After 3 days allow into the bed. Set-up the curve under the plastic sheet to make more air.

14. After 4-5 more days check the premodium and wait for the harvesting stage.




Packaging Before packaging, make sure all mushrooms are well trimmed.

For selling fresh mushrooms on the market, little or no packaging is required. Mushrooms are weighed and placed in paper or plastic bags.

Mushrooms cannot keep for long and therefore all mushrooms must be sold quickly following harvesting. They can keep in a refrigerator for 12 24 hours. To avoid humidity from accumulating in the bag, place mushrooms in bags and blow air in them. Tie bag with rubber band. If no refrigerator is available, place mushrooms on banana leaves in a cool area, or put them on top of water under the shade in a well-ventilated place.




Marketing Mushrooms can be sold directly to consumers or given to whole sellers. The profit will be reduced when dealing with an intermediate but if a good agreement can be made, it also saves on expenses related to marketing. Prices of mushrooms will depend on the season and the type. Different seasons will give better yields for certain mushrooms. Sales outlets: From the farm Make sure people know you cultivate mushrooms Community Local market Neighboring markets Restaurants Hotels Supermarkets

Quality control: Mushrooms must be clean Collect young mushrooms - trimming is very important - longer shelf life - better tasting

Tip: harvesting after watering at least 2-3 hours will conserve mushrooms longer. Inoculated mushroom bags can also be sold and generate supplemental income.

Note: Constant monitoring of competitors is necessary to ensure market share 93



Conserving mushrooms Because mushrooms are highly perishable, strategies in conservation techniques are necessary. Drying is a good option since it allows mushrooms to be used in cooking. Drying can be done with electrical and solar dryers. Nevertheless, this cannot be done during the rainy season since dried mushrooms would take in humidity immediately and therefore their conservation cannot be guaranteed. Fresh mushrooms can be processed and sold to shops and restaurants as finished products. Many products can be made with mushrooms. Aside from being added to soups and sauces, mushrooms can be converted into sweets, cookies, candies, various snacks, and can also be dried. However, facilities in rural areas are not necessarily capable of supporting such processing techniques. The following recipes are just of few examples of some of the easiest and most appreciated types of processed mushrooms in South East Asia, which can easily be done in small villages. Fermented mushrooms Pla la hed Ingredients 2 kg. 200 gr. 100 gr. 3 tablespoons Shredded Oyster mushrooms or Nang Fa Roasted rice Salt Garlic cloves

Preparation Clean, trim and shred mushrooms. Steam shredded mushrooms until tender. Let cool down. Pound roasted rice using mortar. Add garlic, salt, and pound in mortar. Place mushrooms in large bowl. Add rice mixture to mushrooms and blend together. Place in jar or bottle. Press in jar, add Styrofoam sheet and close lid tightly. Place jar under the sun for about 3 days. After the 3 days, move in a shaded area for about 2 weeks. Fermented mushrooms are ready to eat. After opening the jar, place in the refrigerator for conservation.



Fermented mushrooms in banana leaf Ingredients: 2 kg 200 gr. 150 gr. 30 gr. 200 gr. (to taste) Preparation Clean mushrooms with water and shred. Steam mushrooms. Let cool down. Press water out. Pound garlic. Mix mushrooms with garlic, sticky rice, and salt. Add chili. Press into small balls. Tie with banana leaves or plastic. Tie with rubber band. Leave at room temperature for a period of 3 days. Ready to eat, the taste will become sour. These can be eaten as they are or fried with eggs. Heavenly mushrooms Hed Sawan Ingredients 300 gr. 400 gr. (to taste) 100 gr. 1 liter 2 teaspoons Dried shredded mushrooms Palm sugar White Soya sauce Sesame seeds Vegetable cooking oil Ground pepper Trimmed oyster mushrooms or Nang Fa Sticky rice Garlic Salt Shanghai noodles (optional) Fresh small chili peppers

Preparation Take fresh oyster mushrooms, trim, shred and place under the sun to dry. Heat-up vegetable oil in a large pan or wok. Add mushrooms to hot oil and fry until browned. Remove and absorb oil. In another pan, add white Soya sauce and palm sugar. Cook until sticky. Add pepper and fried mushrooms. Mix together. Add sesame seeds and mix. Remove and let cool down. Place in containers.



Pickled mushrooms with soya sauce. Ingredients 1 kg 700 gr. 50 gr. 50 gr. Fresh mushrooms Water Salt White Soya sauce .

Preparation Take fresh mushrooms and clean with water. If mushrooms are too big, cut into 3 4 pieces. Blanch them. Remove mushrooms from water and loosely place them in glass bottle or jar. Leave about each at the top of the bottle. Add salt and white Soya sauce to brine. Pour brine in to mushroom jars up to the top. Steam bottles to remove all air. Tightly close lid. Let cool down.

Shrimp paste mushrooms (vegetarian) Ingredients 1 kg 300 gr. 500 gr. 3 cups Tailings of soybeans Ground mushrooms (any type except ear mushrooms) Salt . Boiling water

Preparation Steam soybean tailings until cooked. Place in bowl and cover with lid. Let stand for 1 3 days. Mix dried grounded mushrooms in boiling water. Cover and let stand for 3 days. Mix fermented soybeans and fermented mushrooms together. Add salt. Ferment for an additional seven days. Place in pan and simmer with cover. Mix regularly until cooked. Keep in cool place.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Waste management and recycling


Collect all waste such as plastic or dirty cotton plugs. Cotton can be burned as alternate fuel. Plastic waste should NOT be burned in open air. It should be sent for collection by municipal waste treatment facilities with other garbage, for proper disposal.

Substrate from bags can be re-used to make new bags. Mycelium must be removed and substrate needs to be well pasteurized. or converted into compost

Substrate bags can also be converted into compost as follows: Break bags open and send plastic bags to be collected by municipality. Mix substrate with effective microorganism (EM) and sugar, and maintain humidity at 65-75 %. Place in used rice bags for a period of approximately 30 days or on the ground under the shade. Compost is then ready to be used in gardens, rice paddies or sold as organic fertilizer.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Waste management and recycling

Bring all organic waste to the compost site and prepare for fertilizer.

Separate all usable elements to be reused.

Plastic necks, cotton, and elastics can be cleaned and reused.




Preventing is better than solving the problems PROBLEM Mycelium fails to form. CAUSE Improper initiation strategy. SOLUTIONS Consult parameter of growth. Alter moisture, temperature, light, carbon dioxide, etc. Note: If the substrate is too moist, decrease moisture. Use activated charcoal water filters to eliminate chemical contaminants or any other ways of simple or appropriate technology. Check substrate. Spread the substrate and remix the substrate, package again, make sure all raw materials are good and fresh. Note: It is necessary to pasteurize immediately after bagging otherwise fermentation gas will slow down the rate of growth of mycelium or stop mycelium growth. Check method of pasteurization. Release all air and make sure there is continuous steam before starting pasteurization for a period of 3 hours. Make sure that the substrate bag is not too hot before inoculation. Obtain younger strain of known vitality & history. Pasteurize and inoculate again with good spawn.

Chlorinated or contaminated water.

Bad substrate.

Bad pasteurization.

Substrate in the bag is too hot when inoculation. Bad strain or spawn. Spawn contaminated.



Forgot to inoculate the Make sure to inoculate. bag. Poor spread of Good pasteurization but decrease the mycelium, bad smell, must temperature in the spots and mites. pasteurization chamber. Pasteurization was too quick and/or the chamber door was opened too quickly. Inoculation process. Too high density in the incubation area, not enough ventilation to decrease accumulated temperature. Too high carbon dioxide. Hygiene of incubation house. Slowly decrease the temperature in the chamber. Do not open the cover of the chamber too quickly. Check that the cotton plug is tightly closed.

Inoculate in hygiene conditions; clean and with no air movement. Spread the substrate bag and make more air ventilation in the incubation area. Check temperature and control surroundings to maintain 25-35 degrees Celsius. Not more than 5% carbon dioxide. Check ventilation.

the Improve hygiene in the incubation house.

Mycelium develops in Mix well the substrate. patches. Substrate is not evenly prepared and some parts have more nutrients than others Bacteria, other contamination. fungi Check the process causing contamination. Separate contaminated bags as soon as possible. Remix substrate separately. Remake substrate bags and pasteurize for a longer time. Follow process. Immediately separate contaminated bags and pasteurize again. Continue the normal process.

Mite contamination.



Note: *Keep hygiene management; make sure to clean every thing (person, area, tools, equipment, and surroundings during every step. *Stop using the area to cut the life cycle of all contaminants for a period of at least 1-2 weeks. For serious contamination cases, spray area with chemicals. *Use black-light with water or sticky-trap to decrease insects. Mycelium grows but Substrate formula is not fails to produce suitable. mushrooms. Mites, mold, virus, bacteria and insects. Adjust the formula; check pH; sawdust; additives; etc. Check pasteurization process, inoculation, other processes and mushroom house management for hygiene. Remove source of toxins. Acquire new strains.

Inhibited by environmental toxins. Bad strain or spawn

Mushrooms form, Premodia and growth Check temperature and humidity. but abort or delay condition of fruiting Open or close doors and window body are not good to adjust accordingly. mushrooming. enough There is contamination Check hygiene, adjust such as mold, bacteria, environment of light, temperature, insects, worms and mites. humidity and ventilation. In more severe cases, use half a teaspoon of sulfur in 3.5 liters of water. Mist the bags and the surface of mushrooms. Remove contaminated bags from mushroom house and recycle. Chemical contamination Remove toxins. from solvents, gas, chlorine, etc. Bad strain. Acquire a new strain or find a new supplier.



Mushrooms form, but Inadequate light. stems are long; caps underdeveloped. Excessive carbon dioxide. Massive numbers of Too long time mushrooms form; few incubation. develop. Lack of oxygen, inadequate light.

Increase or adjust light to correct wavelength. Increase air exchange, open doors or windows and close at correct time. Shorten the period for the formation of premodia. Increase air ventilation and open more windows or doors to receive more light.

Inadequate Reformulate or check raw materials. substrate nutrition or low quality. Low rate mycelium Use the high rate spawn or adjust growth. good conditions for rate of growth. Poor strain. Obtain better strain.

Mushrooms are Disturbed by germs Adjust mushroom house to favor competing mushrooms and not germs and deformed, decay and or microorganisms. competitors. die. Dirty surface substrate bags. of Clean the surface of substrate.

Not enough air Increase air circulation. Reduce ventilation, too humidity to the prescribed levels. high humidity. Surface water must evaporate from mushrooms several times per day. Check watering; if there is water in bags, pierce bags and drain water. Bad strain. Acquire better strain.

Use of chemicals Never use chemicals during the during this period. fruiting stage.



Mushrooms produced Inadequate only in the first flush, substrate nutrition. fail to produce subsequent flushes. Competitors.


Check hygiene, adjust light, temperature, humidity, air and ventilation. Improve management.

Poor growing house management. Bad strain. Mushrooms small sized.

Acquire new strain.

Too many Reduce the size of mushrooms coming opening(s). out at the same time. Lack of nutrients in Review quality of substrate. substrate. Change of weather. Spawn unhealthy. Beware of wide range changes in temperature. Check origin of spawn.

Pests and insects.

Natural occurrence, Place lemongrass plants around humid climate. mushroom house. Spread lime on shelves, on poles and ground in the mushroom house. Clean (and maintain clean) the mushroom house properly. Mushroom waste Try to use the waste as fertilizer or lying around recycle. mushroom house. Ants. Mix detergent with water and place on their paths. Do not put on mushroom. Check humidity of mushroom.

Mushrooms are light Shortage of water. in weight. Mushroom spoil.

too Harvest when younger. quickly Mushrooms mature when harvested.



Mushrooms too Chill mushrooms before placing in warm before marketing containers. packaging. Mushrooms too Reduce humidity several hours before wet when harvesting. harvested. Mushrooms stored Sell mushrooms faster. beyond shelf life. Rotting spot on the mushroom fruiting body because of bacteria during flush. Bacteria (Pseudomonas tolaasii, Pseudomonas fluorescens) on Oyster mushroom. Control humidity in the mushroom house and maintain 80-85 %. Give enough time for water to evaporate from mushroom surfaces before further watering. For sever cases, use 113 grams chlorine mixed in 45 liters of water or 4 ounces of chlorine per gallon of water.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Preparing the mushroom house


Capacity 1,000 bags 2,000 bags 3,000 bags 4,000 bags

Size (approximate) 2m x 3m 3m x 4m 4m x 5m 5m x 6m

Materials that can be used:

Rice straw Grass Leaves Bamboo Tree branches Old rice and other grain bags Shade mesh


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Preparing the mushroom house

Using old rice bags and dried leaves on the roof.

Using branches for structure


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Preparing the mushroom house

Mushroom shelves and suspended systems

Different types of systems can be used inside the mushroom house. All have their advantages and disadvantages. Each person will select the system most appropriate considering the disability and environment.

Traditional bamboo shelves system

Suspended systems

More heavy-duty steel racks often used in commercial enterprise.


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Preparing the mushroom house

Country style pasteurization system

Old rice bags for cover

200 liters


MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Starting the business


Procedure to start a mushroom production farm 1. Identify location for the mushroom house Make sure the land is above flooding level. Location should offer good ventilation. 2. Set-up mushroom house and equipment There are several ways of building small mushrooms houses as seen in the chapter PREPARING A MUSHROOM HOUSE page 101 and annexes 1 and 2. Appropriate material is always the most economical. Initial investment Description Mushroom house 3m x 4 m (good for about 2 years) Mushroom bags (good for 3 months) Total necessary investment For those who wish to make their own bags, the following is also necessary: Description 200 liter oil drums (good for two years) Capacity Pasteurization of 80 100 bags per time Gas tank and burner set (most farmers For two drums use branches instead of oil or gas) Optional (good for two years) Other tools such as basket, water sprayer- optional (good for two years) Full production Unit Cost Total cost 400 700 Baht 400 700 Baht per set 2,000 3000 Baht per set Capacity 2,000 bags 1,000 (to start) Unit Cost 500 2,000 Baht 3.5 Baht Total cost 500 2,000 Baht 3,500 Baht 4,000 5,500 Baht

1,000 Baht

Cement floor 4 x 5 m x 200 mm Full optional production (good for many years) Compacted earth can also be used for Full baking bags production (good for one year) Total necessary investment

4,000 Baht



400 700 Baht 109

MUSHROOM CULTIVATION: Starting the business 3. Buy raw materials It is highly recommended that you start the business by buying already inoculated mushroom bags. A minimum of 1,000 bags to start is both feasible and easy to manage. It will allow you to understand the basis of mushroom production without investing too much money. 4. Maintain mushroom house Keep house clean. This will reduce disease and pest and will ensure higher yield. Constantly monitor humidity and light. 5. Check for contamination and disease At least twice a week, visually check each bag to see if there are any spots or if only part of the bag becomes white. 6. Check for pest At least twice a week, visually check each bag for small mites, flies, ants or other pests. 7. Harvest mushrooms Harvest mushrooms at least twice a day to collect only young and strong mushrooms. These high quality mushrooms will ensure that your clients will be happy and will come back for more. 8. Sale and marketing of mushrooms Mushrooms can be sold from the farm directly, within the village on the fresh market. They can also be supplied to restaurants and hotels. Always monitor the competition and adjust prices according to season and local demand. 9. Keep records Records will make you see how much profit you make. See the following section for details in keeping records and to see expected income. 10. Seasonal business Vs Continuous business Because of rice harvesting around Asia, there are certain times of the year when people are busy working in the fields. Furthermore, during the rainy season, wild mushrooms come out thus reducing the demand and therefore the price of cultivated mushrooms. Many people wish to stop producing mushrooms during this period. Nevertheless, there is still a market for certain type of mushrooms. Processing may also be profitable during the rainy season. For a continuous income all year round, it is necessary to plan and make sure that there are always mushrooms at the fruiting stage while other bags are at the incubation stage. This means that the farm can become the major source of regular income for the family. Mushroom can be separated into three levels of operation: Examples 1st level 2nd level 3rd level Buy bags Buy bags 1 fruiting house 3 fruiting houses 2,000 bags 6,000 bags 6,000 bags 3 months harvest 3 months harvest 1 month rest 1 month rest per house Continuous harvest (can also sell bags) 110

Make bags 1 incubation house, 3 fruiting houses



It is very useful to keep records of income and expenses. It allows to verify how much profit is being made. If the profit is low, you must see how you can reduce expenses without reducing the quality. If profit is high, it may be time to expand the farm with the money acquired from the profit. Check profit First, review all expenses Write the amount of money you spent on raw materials Write how much you spend in electricity and water for the farm (if any). Write how much you pay for labor (if you hire people to help you) Write how much you spent on the mushroom house ____________
(Based on an average cost of 2,000 Baht, each bag will cost approximately 0.25 Baht per bag - 2 years life and 3 batches per year).

Write the amount it cost for the pasteurization process including initial investments, preparation. (Cost per bag for full production can be
estimated at 0.03 Baht per bag. Fuel is replaced by tree branches))

TOTAL EXPENSES Then, Write TOTAL INCOME received from sales Deduct TOTAL EXPENSES PROFIT Annex 4. Gives a cost estimate for mushroom substrate bag production by reviewing all costs involved. Annex 5 gives detailed explanation on how cost can be calculated.



Income to be expected (Under normal circumstances based on the experience of trainees in Ubon Ratchathani between February and October 2000) Average Yield per bag (Total over a period of 3 months) Average sales price (based on oyster mushrooms) Total income per bag (NOT PROFIT) (Fruiting will occur over a period of about 3 months) Total cost of buying one spawn bag Total cost for materials used in making one bag (not including labor) Total cost for the mushroom house based on 2,000 Baht to build mushroom house used for 2 years Total cost for oil drums and other tools (watering accessories, harvesting basket) 250 grams per bag 25 Baht per kg 6.25 Baht 3.75 Baht 2 Baht 0.25 Baht per bag 0.03 Baht per bag

Total income per month will depend on the number of bags cultivated. The following shows average income and profit margin differences based on buying or making spawn bags. No labor costs are included in the calculations since it is considered that the income generated from the sale of mushrooms. Electricity and water are generally free in remote areas; water is taken from nearby water sources and electricity is non-existent. Number of bags
(Yield 250 g per bag)

Sales price Baht/kg 25 25 25 25 25 25

Total Income
(6.25 Baht per bag)

Income per month

1 bag produces for 3 months

Net profit per month

Buying spawn bags (Cost 4 Baht)

Net profit per month

Making spawn bags (Cost 2.25 Baht)

1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000

6,250 12,500 18,750 25,000 31,250 37,500

2,083 4,167 6,250 8,333 10,417 12,500

750 1,500 2,250 3,000 3,750 4,500

1,333 2,667 4,000 5,333 6,667 8,000

Note: Further income can be generated by the sales of spawn bags.




Annex 1: Layout of mushroom cultivation center

Annex 1. Layout of mushroom cultivation center

MH 5 8 mushroom house for business area Training area

Exercise building Multi purpose building With toilet Fertilizer N MH Fuel MH MH MH

Canteen building.

Steam(boiler) Solar area

2nd sp.

Gardening mushroom house by farmer trainers Shop 4 Shop 3

1st spawn bld.

MH 1 MH 2 MH 3 MH 4

Lecture Room

Shop 2

Processing area

Storeroom Pump Pond Gardening area

Sale room

Kitchen area Display area


Annex 2: Buildings and equipment for training center

Annex 2. Buildings and equipment for training center

Quantity 1 Building & Equipment Spawn bagging & Inoculation building Detailed description Approximately 7 x 11 meter with concrete floor and roofing. Store room 2.5 x 3 m. Inoculation room 3 m x 4 m and concrete walls. To develop spawn under clean environment. Approximately 138 s.qm. Approximately 60 sq.m. each house. Each house can hold up to 5000 bags. Hard floor or concrete, iron or wood with bamboo structure, 2 layer (Lamperate cylindrical) grass roof, saland wall, iron racks or wood with bamboo racks, trolley and wheelchair aisles at least 1.20 m. wide. Approximately 60 sqm. Each building can hold 5000 bags. Hard floor or concrete, iron or wood with bamboo structure. 2 layers (Lamperata cylindrical) grass roof, saland wall, iron racks or wood with bamboo racks, trolley and wheelchair aisles at least 1.20 m wide. As demonstration units Classroom Trainers office Processing of mushrooms Sales of processed products Storage of raw material 1 steam system (500 bags) with thermometer 1 country-style system (500 bags) 30 bottles and 120 bottles capacity for multiplication of spawn on sorghum seeds. Using mainly green fuel For pasteurization For sterilization during inoculation For tissue culture To transport mushrooms 10 X 20 X 4 meter

1 2

Spawn production building Incubation houses

Fruiting body houses

2-3 1

Small country-style mushroom houses Multi-purpose building

2 2 1 3 12 12 40 1

Pasteurization chambers Autoclave (pressure steam sterilizer) Steam Boiler system Gas burners with gas tank and aid or accessories Alcohol lamps Needles Iron racks for mushroom bags Water retention basin


Annex 2: Buildings and equipment for training center

1 1 1 2 2

Electric dryer (optional) Solar dryer (optional) Substrate Mixer Laminar flow inoculation Press and drill a hole in substrate bag machine

Capacity 15 trays, each tray 0.98 sqm.(Optional) Capacity 15 kg fresh mushroom (Optional) 50 75 Kg Recommended. Mixing can also be done manually. With hepa filter 1cuft One using handle and the other use delay and motor. Bags can also be made by hand but with machine, there is higher production and better quality bags. It further helps people with disabilities. 3 wheels manually powered Mushroom bags need to be watered regularly. Automatic sprinkling systems will ensure regularity. Post meters, control boxes, light bulbs For packaging 2 sets for 500 gm, 2 sets 1 kg, 1 set 100 kg For Spawning For processing Various For substrate bags For substrate 2 15 ten wheel trucks For substrate bags For plugging bottles and bags For closing bags For substrate To keep clear records and prepare training For business For training For training For training For training For processing Sawdust, plastic necks, etc. (see mushroom bags substrate ingredients

4 Set Set 2 5 Set Set 1.5 tons 2-15 ten wheel Trucks 200,000

Trolleys Water supply Electrical supplies Plastic bag sealing machine (optional) Weighing machine Glassware Kitchenware and equipment Glucose, gelatin, alcohol, dettol, plastic Plastic bags Sawdust Plastic necks Cotton plugs Rubber bands Magnesium sulfate, Calcium sulfate, Calcium carbonate, pumice, Rice bran Computer set with printer Telephone line Tables and chairs Television Slide projector with screen Megaphone Kitchen utensils Raw material for training

3 1 Several 1 1 2 Several Lots


Annex 3: Preliminary questionnaire including selection criteria

Annex 3. Preliminary questionnaire including selection criteria

No Day Month Year PERSONAL HISTORY AND EDUCATION Name (Mr., Ms, title) Age Nationality Education Name of school Special ability Address No. Street Subdistrict / district Marital status Spouse age, Income Candidate Number of children Family name Date/month/year of birth Religion Year finished education Occupation Village Province If married, name of spouse Spouse occupation Income spouse Who takes care of the children? FAMILY HISTORY Fathers given name Age Occupation Mothers given name Age Occupation Status of marriage of parents Fathers family name Alive or deceased Income (per day / per month / per year) Mothers family name Alive or deceased Income (per day / per month / per year) New marriage Paste Picture here

How many brothers and sisters (grand father, grand mother on each side of the family, and other relatives) Name Brothers and sisters Age Occupation


Annex 3: Preliminary questionnaire including selection criteria

HISTORY OF DISABILITY What is your disability? Since when? Cause? Where did you receive rehabilitation?

What is the ability of the body at the moment of the interview? How are the eyes used, how does the candidate drink use his/her hands? Left handed or right handed What is the weight candidate can lift Can stand or not? How long? Can walk or not? How far? Use of prosthesis/ orthesis/ wheelchair.. Can sit or not? If yes how long? In case lower part has no feeling, can he/she control bladder and bowel movements? HISTORY OF WORK What is the last occupation? Where is location of work? When did candidate stop working in this occupation? Position? Salary Reason for leaving?

INFORMATION ON TRAINING Where did you learn about training? Why join the training? Where did you apply? When did you apply? Do you know when the training will start? Are you available during that time? What does your family say about training? What does your community say about training? Do you wish to set-up a mushroom farm after What would be your preferred occupation? training? STATUS OF HOUSE AND LAND What are your family duties? What is your financial situation? Do you have any debts? Can you travel by yourself? Do you own land? Size of land? Can the land be used to cultivate mushrooms Space available for mushrooms farm? following training? COMMENTS OF INTERVIEWER


Annex 3: Cost estimate for mushroom bag production Annex 4. Cost estimate for mushroom bag production

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

AMOUNT in Baht Sawdust 0.76 PP Bags 0.24 Rice bran 0.23 Gypsum 0.06 Lime stone 0.03 Magnesium sulfate 0.02 Spawn 0.16 Plastic neck 0.14 Fuel 0.26 Cotton 0.01 Rubber band 0.02 Alcohol 0.04 Total material 1.97 Labor for making bags 0.30 Total 2.27 Other labor costs for pasteurization 0.07 for inoculation 0.05 for transportation on the 0.03 farm for incubation 0.10 Total for labor 0.25 Total 2.52 Other costs Contamination 5% 0.13 Water 0.00 Electricity 0.00 Unforeseen 0.23 Delivery Not. Incl. Total 2.88 Overhead 20% 0.58 Total cost of bag 3.46 Sales price = 20% overhead + 17% profit Sales price per bag 3.95 119


Annex 5: Justification for cost calculations

Annex 5. Justification for cost calculations

Item 1 Material Sawdust Cost calculation Sawdust costs 982.39 Baht / ton 100 kg can produce 130 bags Cost for 100 kg = (982.39 Baht / 1,000 kg) x 100 kg = 98.239 Cost for sawdust per bag = 98.239 Baht / 130 bags = 0.7557 Baht per bag 1 kg of bags = approximately 200 bags = 47 Baht Cost for PP bag = 47 Baht / 200 bags = 0.235 Baht per bag 100 kg of sawdust uses 6 kg of rice brand Price of rice brand = 5 Baht / kg Cost for rice brand = 6 kg x 5 Baht / 130 bags = 0.2308 Baht/ bag 100 kg of sawdust uses 2 kg of gypsum Price for gypsum = 100 Baht / 25 kg bag Price for 1 kg gypsum = 100 / 25 = 4 Baht / kg Cost of gypsum = 4 Baht x 2 kg / 130 bags = 0.0615 Baht per bag 100 kg of sawdust uses 1 kg of limestone 1 kg of limestone = 4 Baht / kg Cost of limestone = 4 Baht / 130 bags = 0.0308 per bag 100 kg of sawdust uses 0.2 kg of magnesium sulfate Price of magnesium sulfate = 300 Baht / 25 kg bag Price for 1 kg of magnesium sulfate = 300 Baht / 25 kg = 12 Baht / kg Cost for magnesium sulfate = (12 Baht x 0.2 kg) / 130 bags = 0.0185 Baht per bag Price of spawn bottle = 5 Baht One bottle can make 30 bags Cost for spawn = 5 Baht / 30 bags = 0.16 per bag Cost per one plastic neck = 0.14 Baht Cost cob = 900 Baht per ton Wood = 2,000 Baht per ton Altogether corn cob and wood can produce 11,216 bags Cost for green fuel = 2,900 Baht / 11,216 bags = 0.2586 Baht per bag One kg of cotton can produce 1,000 bags Price for cotton = 13 Baht / kg Cost for cotton = 13 Baht / 1,000 bags = 0.013 Baht per bag Rubber bands sell in bags of 1 kg containing approximately 3,150 pcs. Price of one bag = 37 Baht Each mushroom bag uses two rubber bands Cost for rubber bands = (37 Baht / 3,150) x 2 pcs. = 0.0235 Baht per bag Alcohol for sterilization = 35 Baht per bottle Price for 9 bottles = 315 Baht Alcohol for lamp = 20 Baht per bottle x 4 bottles = 80 Baht Altogether use of alcohol = 395 Baht can produce 11,216 bags Altogether cost for alcohol = 395 Baht / 11,216 bags = 0.0352 Baht per bag 0.30 Baht per bag

2 3 4

PP Bags Rice bran Gypsum

5 6

Limestone Magnesium sulfate

7 8 9

Spawn Plastic neck Corn cob & wood for fuel Cotton Rubber bands

10 11




Labor cost for bags