As part of continued efforts to introduce the growing and cultivation of Juncao mushroom to the Fijian market, training was held for the fourth time this year at the Ministry of Agriculture’s [MoA] Legalega Research Station for farmers in the Central and Western Divisions.
The Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University (FAFU) and JUNCAO Research Institute has been working closely with the MoA at Legalega to grow mushroom as it has been seen as a convenient place for demonstration purposes, marketing and product exportation.
Mushroom expert Dr Lynn Lin Dongmei said that the climate in Fiji is suitable to grow medium and high temperature mushroom species with average temperature between 18-31°C.
She said that straw mushroom and other varieties can be produced seasonally under natural condition.
“Other species like king oyster, Chinese mushroom, button mushroom and others have to be cultivated with air condition.”
Acting Director for MoA’s Research Division Dr Apaitia Macanawai is optimistic that the training has provided a platform for participants to understand the basics of cultivating mushroom.
“Mushroom is also beneficial as it is highly nutritious and will be able to support farmers maintaining food security and generate some supplementary income.”
He said that with the support of key stakeholders (including farmers), the Ministry of Agriculture plans to further develop the mushroom industry in Fiji.
One of the participants for the two day training, Dr Ram Sami Naidu from Rakiraki, Ra said that he learnt a lot about mushroom and its benefits.
He said that mushroom if grown in large scale can assist in increasing income for farmers and also reduce the high volume of mushroom that is imported in the country.
Dr Naidu said that including mushroom in one’s diet is essential as it is nutritious and has many health benefits.