A two-day training programme for 50 mushroom farmers drawn from 13 districts of Brong Ahafo has started at Techiman.
It is being organised by BENOOM Mushroom Complex and sponsored by Opportunity Industrialization Centre (OIC) an International Non-governmental Organization (NGO) based in Accra under the auspices of USAID.
The workshop is to build up the capacity of mushroom farmers through a well planned programmed aimed at proving the required new technical information and hand-on-practical skills for improved production.
Opening the workshop, Mr.
Benard Bempah, Executive Director of BENOOM Mushroom Complex said mushroom production in the Techiman agricultural area had been in operation for the past seven years.
Bempah said the over 100 out growers and 50 groups scattered over Brong Ahafo and some parts of the Ashanti Region have received series of training and were engaged in mushroom production and sale to the local market.
According to Mr.
Bempah, besides the training, it was expected that new recommendations would be identified with farmer participation that can be applied to increase mushroom production to enhance high income for mushroom producers through improved techniques.
Isikiuemhen, a mushroom biology and fungal biotechnology expert from the U.
S, who is in the country to offer training to the farmers, said there had been problems in the mushroom industry in Techiman.
Isikiuemhen identified spawning, post harvest handling, and errors in the composting process ranging from inadequate water content as well as harsh weather conditions, which had been affecting mushroom production.
He asked mushroom producers to sustain their composite bags to the standard that could let them absorb humidity and temperature to ensure increased production.
He said North Carolina Agricultural Technical State University would go in partnership with BRNCOM mushroom complex for the supply of quality spawns such as Auricularia, which was common in Ghana to enable them maximize returns from their farm operations.
He commended Mr.
Bempah and OIC for their efforts in mushroom cultivation and technology being offered to farmers in the country.