Business News of Friday, 9 November 2018
Source: Emmanuel Agyei
The Brong Ahafo Mushroom Farmers Association (BAMFA) is calling for more support in boosting mushroom production to the benefit of the economy.
According to the association, the recent increase in demand for mushroom is a clarion call for stakeholders to take advantage in creating jobs for the youth among other economic benefits. This was contained in a press release issued by the association.
Below is the full statement.
BRONG AHAFO MUSHROOM FARMERS ASSOCIATION
Mushroom production is one of the non-traditional agricultural activities that are gaining grounds in the country, especially in the Brong Ahafo Region. The recognition of the nutritional value of the product has not only increased the demand for it but for the supply as well. This has subsequently led to a boost in the interest of especially, the youth to get engaged in the production process.
Although scientific research and farming practice have led to the development of some universal or general concepts concerning mushroom cultivation, the diverse biological nature of the process (in which large numbers of mushroom species and natural organic substrates are involved) also means that a wide spectrum of variations in farming methods must be employed.
Despite the importance of the mushroom industry towards the creation of jobs for the youth and its contribution to household nutritional value, there has been very little attention from stakeholders towards making it an attractive venture. It is unfortunate to note that there is a general lack of enforcement of Standard Operating Procedures to pasteurization of mushroom compost bags especially in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana.
The production methods of using wood as energy source to pasteurize mushroom compost bags produce a lot of smoke, constantly causing environmental pollution and public health issues. Even handling of spawn/mushroom is not done the best way, thereby making it contaminated and less attractive for the market. The industry is, therefore, becoming less attractive with some farmers gradually quitting.
The Brong Ahafo Mushroom Farmers Association (BAMFA) with funding from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC Fund) and their partners, USAID, EU and Danida is implementing an advocacy action for the enforcement of Standard Operating Procedures to pasteurization of mushroom compost bags in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana with the following Recommendations:
*There is the urgent need for the relevant duty bearer institutions such as The Ghana Standard Authority, The Environmental Protection Agency, and officials of the District Directorates of Agriculture to strictly enforce the laws on the pasteurization of mushroom compost bags in the Brong Ahafo Region
* Government should introduce a comprehensive policy for the mushroom industry to include policies on marketing, credit/funding and production.
*The Assembly in collaboration with the Brong Ahafo Mushroom Farmers Association(BAMFA) should identify a suitable location for mushroom farmers to set up their businesses to avoid conflicts