Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Free client follow up on our clients

06/09/2011

We value you our clients hence we are launching the “client follow up” initiative this is a free service we will be  offering to all our clients to hear what they have to say with the performance of or spawn, we will give our  expert advise on getting the best results with our spawn, we are also working to continue improving the quality of our products and how we can give you the best service. Our expert will make at least one visit to all  clients per month in Harare and once in two months for Bulawayo other towns and cities special arrangements  will have to be made.

For this reason Mushtella will have to maintain a certain number of clients so join us before the opportunity  close on you. We had like to know all our clients personally so that we can give the best advise so that your
business can be profitable. “Your success is ours”

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Mushtella goes to bulawayo

02/09/2011

Nyasha Mupaso will be travelling to Bulawayo to meet growers (7&8 September 2011).  Mushtella is offering Bulawayo   mushroom farmers oyster mushroom spawn at competitive prices. Spawn is $3/kg that cost includes freight. The deposit system remains applicable on all orders .for those who want to collect in Harare the price is $2-50 /kg .May all customers note that orders must be 30 kgs and above orders below 30 kgs will be accepted on condition that freight will be charged separately. We understand that our clients face challenges and to help our clients overcome challenges Mushtella will send a consultant to Bulawayo every two months for follow up visits this is a free service to all our clients.

mushroom magazine in Zimbabwe

01/09/2011

We are glad to be launching a mushroom magazine in the month of October (1 October 2011), The magazine
will have news on the industry which will be relevant to all growers and those who intend to get into the
industry. To make the magazine more exciting we are calling on growers to contribute articles, news items
relevant to the industry or any upcoming conferences or meetings, we will gladly publish them. This will be a
free electronic magazine.

We believe this is an important development for mushroom growers in Zimbabwe, where there is no single mushroom magazine, we hope all stakeholders in the industry will cooperate on this important development, we also hope this will bring about unity among growers and spawn suppliers in the country.

if you would like to subscribe, email to info@mushtella.com with the word subscribe in the subject line, we will put you on our mailing list.

whatever you do keep it profitable.

The Mushroom Enterprise Zimbabwe: Welcome everyone to the MushRent blog where I trus…

10/08/2011

The Mushroom Enterprise Zimbabwe: Welcome everyone to the MushRent blog where I trus…: “Welcome everyone to the MushRent blog where I trust you will be able to get more information about profitably growing Mushrooms and selling …”

challenges in the mushroom industry in Zimbabwe

28/07/2011
There are a number of challenges we face as mushroom growers in Zimbabwe by mentioning them here I
hope I will get feedback from you on how we can solve some of these things.

1. Bogus trainers: we have too many bogus trainers, the worst I have seen do not grow mushrooms and
just give theoretical training, its so sad, this has led to many challenges we have to face, due to such training, we have
people who have lost confidence in the industry. Some of the trainers seem to have never read a
mushroom growing book or at least read an article because what they teach is simply dangerous. There are
so many people whom when I talk to tell me they need potato sacks to grow oyster mushrooms, I am not sure who
popularised the idea, I am not saying its wrong, but the point is it seems when he/she trained he/she taught
one method and its not the best and it seems to me the trainer did not research well, many people have lost money to these trainers firstly by paying to be trained secondly
applying methods that are outdated or which do not work, this challenge is not only peculiar to Zimbabwe but
it is common across Africa.

 I supplied spawn to an orphanage in Karoi, due to negligence and poor training they did not do so well, as is common people quickly shift the blame to the spawn supplier so they took the spawn to the nearest mushroom grower who quickly concluded that it was “fake”, what was  clear is the grower was not told spawn can come in different forms or spawn can be on sawdust or any other material, this goes back to my point on poor trainers.

2. Lack of a growers association, this challenge is linked to the above as the association can regulate growers and trainers and bring back order, an association is very important to the growth of the industry, There are a lot of inconsistencies that we need to address and they can only be addressed if we join hands, for this reason I have joined others in the quest to form the association you can phone me or visit our group on face book: Mushroom Growers Zimbabwe if you want to join or get more information on what progress we have made in that endeavour.

I will talk of other challenges in future posts:

Poisonous mushroom: facts and myths in Zimbabwe

11/07/2011

As a mushroom enthusiast, I am concerned with the fear that many people have for mushrooms, most people I meet just have fear of the mushrooms even if they can not explain why they are afraid, I usually ask people, do you have a friend or a relative who died of mushroom poisoning?, I have only met one lady who had a brother who died of mushroom poisoning since I started mushroom growing in 2003. Before I go on with this subject let me state that all cultivated mushrooms are safe. The subject of poisonous mushrooms only comes into picture when we talk of wild mushrooms. I have learnt that what people usually talk of are just myths. In the wild there are poisonous mushrooms and non poisonous mushrooms, if you can not identify which is edible and non edible you are recommended not to venture into mushroom hunting, let experts do that(in Zimbabwe the experts are usually the old people or those who have received the knowledge from such people). If you are buying mushrooms on the roadside you better be sure of the type you are buying or you are putting your life in the hands of the one who gathered. Let me also state the danger of  mushroom poisoning  is generally overstated, out of all those who consume mushrooms only a small percentage eat the poisonous ones compared to the edible ones.  I have only read two reports of poisoning in the last two years, there might be some unreported cases, the reported cases I managed to pick in the press give me an average that does not exceed people per year(this is an average I have come up considering reported cases I heard of or read-for the past five years). Statistically how many people die from road accidents per week, but people are not afraid to travel-the conclusion the fear is propagated by myths especially the myth that mushrooms growing under gum trees are all poisonous such that before a person buys mushroom they ask you are there not grown near gum trees (I will talk about how this myth developed in Zimbabwe In my future posts.
My advise to those who want go for mushroom hunting, go with an experienced person, this reduces the risk, the most safe way is to buy mushrooms from your local supermarket or directly from a grower near you, as I mentioned earlier – cultivated mushrooms are 100% safe. The bookshops have what are generally called field guides to mushrooms/mushroom hunting, my advise is those books are good but must never be trusted solely, relying on a field guide may be fatal, its better to go with someone experienced and then compare with the filed guide(descriptions may not be enough, colours may not be clear in the field guide and some mushrooms change colour as they grow, a good guide explains where to get the mushroom, arrangement of gills, colour, if the mushroom has a volva, a ring, structure of the stem and cap.

this post is not exhaustive I just touched on a few things, so be careful poisonous mushrooms exist.

secrets of successful mushroom growing

28/06/2011
Well there are not much secrets to mushroom growing, I believe mushroom growing is both an art and a science. I have seen many growers try to reinvent the wheel. I will pursue the topic of secret of mushroom growing in the future but today I just want to say mushroom growing is the science of eliminating contamination.

Contamination does so many things on a farm I will just mention a few today.

a)    Reduces yield: contamination reduces yields like in a conventional farm people remove weeds as these compete for nutrients with the desired crop, so contamination are fungi or bacteria competing with your mushroom mycelia for nutrients, so I will call contamination “weeds”. Eliminate “weeds” or at least keep the percentage low, besides reducing yields contamination can wipe out the whole crop before you even harvest, so watch out, green mold is our top enemy which at times start disguised as mushroom mycelia, it takes an experienced farmer to identify green mold in its initial stages unless it just start off green.
b)    It affects future crops: once there is an outbreak of contamination then you are sure it will always recur and affect future crops, how you dispose contaminated media is crucial, the best is to sterilize the media before dumping, cleaning the rooms is key to its total elimination
c)    Slows down growth: some contamination slows down growth in such cases its usually not visible to the naked eye such that growers will not even know there is contamination, this will effect on yields eventually
Whatever you do keep the “weeds” out and be profitable

How to start growing mushrooms?

28/06/2011
So many people call me wanting to start mushroom growing most of whom due to folklore think that you can “plant” mushrooms today and then start harvesting the following day or that it’s an easy thing to do. If you think of growing mushrooms get training and the best is to get a consultant who can take you through all the stages. It takes a lot of reading to be a good farmer. Then there are those who do not want to pay training and consultancy fees and go it alone, my experience tells me 99% of them fail. There are some who request to come and visit and see how I do it, I have been too generous I allow them to take a farm walk most of the ones who visited me will go quite and never call me, I guess for two reasons a) some just hear mushroom growing and think its easy, so when they see what it takes they give up b) some when they visit and see how we are doing it, go and do it on their own and I know most just have the first crop and give up. It takes innovation, creativity and commitment to study. My advice for now is online “how to” articles are good but they need to be adapted to the local environment and conditions. I know many people try to cut corners and get training from inexperienced trainers- that’s also a good recipe for failure. In my future doses I will write how to grow mushrooms type by type,
Whatever you do keep it profitable.

Cashflow challenges for mushroom growers

28/06/2011
The talk these days in Zimbabwe is liquidity challenges facing all industries in the country, well this is not an economics blog, will just touch on economics in one way or the other, I know mushroom growers are no exception to this challenge especially taking into consideration that over 90% of sales are credit sales mainly to supermarkets and hotels. At Mushtella we believe in helping you solve challenges of cash flow in various ways, first we have done research into low cost production systems so that the price gets lower, we have different packages to suit all your needs depending on your cash flow. You don’t have to stop spawning because you don’t have spawn, our prices are now ranging from $1.80 – $3 per kg send me refer to our brochure for details or call me for details, $ 3 is for those buying on terms our packages are very flexible taking into consideration of the liquidity challenges. May all growers note that all orders are subject to a 50% deposit. Our spawn is not only limited to those in Zimbabwe but we also export.

Spawn quality

28/06/2011
The quality of spawn is very crucial to you as a mushroom grower for the following reasons
a)    Good quality spawn means quick colonization, if colonisation is fast chances of contamination are reduced by a high percentage,
b)    High yields: when colonization is fast, contamination Is reduced and the colony is dense and that guarantees good yields if all other conditions are maintained.

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