Mushroom industry on the rise

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By Elsa S. Subong (JCM/ESS/PIA6 Iloilo)

ILOILO CITY (2016)—Entrepreneur Charlene Genciana of Alta Tierra Village in Jaro, Iloilo City now supplies pickled and fresh mushroom packs in two big malls in the city.

According to Regional Information Officer of the Department of Agriculture-6 James Ogatis, said that Genciana is a successful beneficiary of the Community-Based Mushroom Production Project. “This project is an intervention under the Palayamanan Model for lowland rice farmers,” Ogatis said.

Genciana had 4,000 fruiting bags in her 400-square meter lot.

“I started the project in May 2016 and began harvesting the following month, with increasing and sustaining supply,” Genciana said.

Genciana is the Manager of Witch Forest Food Products.

“The core concept of Palayamanan system is integration of all farm resources, where rice hay or straws are used as primary medium in making mushroom substrates,” said Elmer Cabusas, Regional Rice Action Program Officer and Mushroom Project Focal Person.

Meanwhile, the DA has facilitated on-site trainings in Iloilo, Guimaras, Aklan, Antique and Capiz, which to date have produced 1,250 bottle spawns used in the production of mushroom fruiting bags for trainings and growers.

Eden Panisales, in-charge, On-Station Modules, said the team has so far produced 24,150 fruiting bags used during trainings and distributed to walk-in clients as part of mass information dissemination on mushroom.

There are nine new innovations introduced, like, mushroom empanada, patty, siomai, crispy mushroom, embutido, tempura, puto-pao, atsara/pickles and ice cream.