TO PROMOTE urban farming and boost food security among Filipinos, Senator Cynthia A. Villar on Tuesday spearheaded a two-day training module on mushroom culture and production technology for backyard planters and budding entrepreneurs.
Villar linked up with the Bureau of Plant Industry for the production training activity, which started Tuesday until today at the Villar Sipag farm school in Las Piñas.
“We need to help our kababayans in whatever and however way we can. By teaching them the proper ways of mushroom cultivation and production, we will not only encourage urban farming and address food insufficiency but also open up opportunities for small-scale enterprises, “ Villar said.
Villar added: “We cannot and should not always depend on government for self sufficiency. We should learn to help ourselves so we can make do with whatever we have.”
Villar stressed the important role that mushrooms contribute to the livelihood of rural and peri-urban dwellers.
“Mushroom production helps in improving food security and boosts income generation because the cultivation process takes only a short time,” she said.
Mushrooms, she added, also complement a family’s dietary requirements because they contain protein and various micronutrients.
Likewise, because of their medicinal properties, mushroom cultivation can also be a small-scale enterprise option.
Villar said the training would be very useful because successful mushroom cultivation depends on the proper knowledge of laboratory techniques and practices involved in spawn and fruiting bag production.
The 2-day training tapped experts who gave simplified lectures and conducted hands-on activities for participants.
Lectures covered the complete cycle of mushroom cultivation from culture production to mushroom production.
It also focused on basic mushroom culture technology applicable to many kinds of mushrooms.
Hands-on exercises included laboratory and substrate preparation such as Culture media preparation (Potato Dextrose Agar); Grain Spawn preparation; Preparation of volvariella/ milky mushroom planting spawn;
Preparation of substrate materials for fruiting bag and bagging; Isolation of mushroom tissue for mother culture of “starter”; Sub-culture from the mother culture; Grain spawn inoculation; Fruiting bag and planting spawn inoculation; and Preparation and planting of milky/ volvariella beddings.
The training will culminate in a farm visit to the Mushroom Burger fastfood store in Tagaytay City.