by Jund Rian A. Doringo
With the flourishing mushroom cultivation in Bicol Region since 2016 as evidenced by the arrival of community-based mushroom growers, Maria Bernadette S. Navera established Exotix Organicum Mushroom Farm in Camarines Sur.
An entrepreneurial management alumna of Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges, Navera conducted a feasibility study of mushroom production as an undergraduate project.
Mr. Romeo R. Javate, Chief Science Research Specialist of the Investment and Business Operations Division of DOST-TAPI, provides an inspirational message during the Regional Relaunching of DATBED in Bicol Region in 2018
The study revealed the favorable temperature range to be maintained for specific hours to achieve the pressure at 15 pounds per square inch (PSI) and avoid incorrect sterilization which leads to contamination.
Mushroom production must possess a good substrate as a source of energy and nutrition for the strain, reliable spawn, and right temperature, to achieve a successful mushroom cultivation.
“We used a drum and a still air box instead of a pressure cooker and a laminar flow hood, respectively, in producing oyster mushrooms to lower the cost of investment in acquiring equipment,” said Navera.
Further, the study projected a production and harvest of 168 kilograms of mushrooms by using 25 kilograms of substrate per month.
“For the time being, we can distribute a total of 73 kilograms of mushrooms to nine identified clients in Buhi and Iriga City per month,” added Navera.
Found to be feasible when implemented, the Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-TAPI) granted a financial assistance of Php 266,108.11 under the Stage II of the DOST-Academe Technology-Based Enterprise Development (DATBED) Program.
DATBED Stage II provides financial assistance to Stage I beneficiaries who have shown capability to manage their technology-based projects on their own or in Navera’s case, graduates who have conducted feasibility studies viable for commercialization.
“With a projected annual gross profit of Php 604,800 and a projected four-year average return-on-investment of 44 percent, we are hopeful that this project pioneers student techno-preneurship in oyster mushroom production,” said Mylene A. Alano, DATBED Program Manager.