By THE NATION
Farmers from more than 20 families have been growing the mushrooms for distribution to large stores for almost a year,” she said. “This business has able to create enough revenue for those farmers, compensating for the low prices they are getting for rubber and palm oil.
Asara said that she started growing mushrooms at her house three years ago. After learning that market demand was at least 200 to 300 kilograms per day, she suggested her neighbors start cultivating them too.
Generally, farmers grow the mushrooms in the rubber or palm plantations. They use palm branches left by palm factories for nurseries. “Presently, we can harvest around 30 to 50 kilograms per day,” Asara added.
The growers also allow those without their own space to use their mushroom’s nurseries, as the soil can be used as fertilizer after the mushrooms are harvested.
In addition, Asara said that she wanted the government to help those who wanted to grow the mushrooms but had no funds to start. “Buyers have confirmed that there are still not enough straw mushrooms to satisfy demand.”