LUNA, Apayao – The municipality could be expecting some more mushrooms being sold after some (30) beneficiaries from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) actively participated in the mushroom cultivation training last July 20, 2023 in Salvacion, Luna, Apayao.
Mushroom cultivation could be one of the sources of income as many people love mushrooms and there is not much supply in the area.
Due to most farmers’ focus on rice, corn, and banana production, there is currently a scarcity of fresh mushrooms in the Luna. Previous attempts to cultivate mushrooms in other barangays within the area have faced challenges due to a lack of expertise and resources.
Notably, the rising trend of veganism and vegetarianism has increased the demand for meat alternatives, making mushrooms an ideal substitute.
The initiative was organized by the Apayao Police Provincial Office (APPO) in collaboration with the Apayao Training Center (ATC), with the theme “Sagot sa Kahirapan, Mushroom ang Kailangan” (Addressing Poverty with Mushrooms). This is to empower less fortunate families and farmers, providing them with an opportunity to improve their standard of living and generate additional income through mushroom production.
Apayao currently holds the distinction of being the top banana grower in the region, producing an impressive 30,523 tons of bananas valued at P38.6 million on 1,123 hectares of land.
However, during the process of banana harvesting, a significant amount of valuable resources such as banana stems, leaves, trunks, and peels are discarded as waste. This training seeks to utilize these agricultural by-products as primary ingredients in mushroom cultivation, promoting a sustainable approach that benefits both the environment and local communities.
Mushroom production offers full-time growers a sustainable source of nutritious food and a means of livelihood, while backyard growers can benefit from an extra source of revenue.
Mushrooms are known for their nutritional value, containing essential minerals, fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates. Additionally, research highlights the significant positive impact of mushrooms on environmental conservation, as well as their potential as effective treatments for anemia, diabetes, and mellitus.
To ensure the success of this mushroom cultivation project, the APPO will extend complete support through a grant scheme. Essential equipment and resources will be provided, along with continued training and guidance. As the project flourishes, the initial beneficiaries will pass on starting kits to future recipients, ensuring the sustainability of mushroom production. By Michelle Acantilado & Krizza Joy Castillo