Volume 10 Part 2 Article 44: Recent Trends in the Mushroom Production in the Philippines

Volume 10 Part 2 Article 44
Year 1979
Title: Recent Trends in the Mushroom Production in the Philippines
Author: R.V. Alicbusan


The Philippines, like most of other southeast asian nations, is basically an agricultural country. There is an enormous quantity of agricultural wastes like rice straw, dried banana leaves, sugarcane bagasse and trashes, corn and other feed grains stubbles that were found ideal as growing media for tropical mushroom production. Under warm and humid tropical climate, the Volvariella mushrpom thrives very well at a temperature range of 28 to 35°C and relative humidity of 65 to 85%.

Like other Asian people, Filipinos also like to eat mushroom. During mushroom season i.e., from the months of August to September, mushrooms collected from the natur,al habitat are being sold along the road sides. There are no less than 26 different species of edible mushrooms that are known to Filipino mushroom hunters. The degree of acceptance varies from one species to another. One of the most preferred together with Termitomyces species (Mamonso) is the Volvariella volvacea also known as banana or straw mushroom.

Tropical mushroom usually grows on piles of decaying rice straw, saw-dust, coir-dust, coffee pulps, sugarcane bagasse, oil palm extraction wastes, etc. Mycelium grows outward and upon exposure to sunlight becomes stimulated to form the pin-heads. Pin-heads are small white bodies approximately the size of the ladies’ pin heads, hence the name. Numerous as they are, they developed almost simultaneously all along the sides of the pile. Within 2 to 3 days the color changes from white to black then to brown and gradually fades as the size increment progresses. There are, however, some strains that are black or darker in color. The shape varies from chesnut to egg-shaped.

Young button is covered initially with a thin membrane called volva. As the young mushroom develops, the stem or stipe elongates and gradually pushing the cap upward causes the volva to rupture and remain at the base.
The still unopened mushroom cap is further pushed up to a height of about 6 to 10 cm. Once the stem reaches its maximum height the cap starts to expand. Initially, the gills are white but they later turn brownish due to the presence of mature basidiospores (seeds) produced in the gills. Opened mushroom has stronger odor which can also be attributed to the mature basidiospores.

This develomental stage usually takes place from 5 to 7 days depending on the prevailing environmental conditions. Low temperatures (25-27°C) slow down the development. High temperatures (28-35°C) hasten the rate of growth.
THe recent development in commercial production of tropical mushroom in the Philippines is the result of several important complementary factors:

1) there is available technology an appropriate climate for a good production of mushroom the whole year round,
2) there is plenty of available man-power, ample space and abundant bedding materials,
3) there are good demands for the product both locally and abroad, and financial assistance can be extended by government and private lending institutions.

Aware of the great potential and viability of mushroom industry, the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) has been offering intensive training course in mushroom production and technical assistance to mushroom producers. The course lastst for 1 1/2 months and covers the subjects on isolation techniques, spawn making, mushroom production and preservation and some aspects of marketing strategies.

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