Inquirries from Maldives Island seeking for mushroom culture and recomment from Prof. Dr. Anon Auetragul

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Inquirries from Maldives Island seeking for mushroom culture and recomment from Prof. Dr. Anon Auetragul

ตั้งหัวข้อ  Pai_Anonworld on Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:21 pm

Dear Anon,
By way of introduction, my name is Gordon Jackson and I am working for an Eco Resort in the Maldives. We like to do as much as possible on the island, and I have been recently employed to set up a spawn lab here to support our mushroom growing activities (which have been going for 7 years with spawn imported from Sri Lanka). I have also been asked to reduce imports of substrate material (sawdust etc. all coming from Sri Lanka at the moment). Previous to this, I set up a lab and growing house in the Pamri mountains of Tajikistan for and NGO there and I have been working with mushrooms for about 5 years now.
I gather that my colleague from the Soneva/Six Senses head office in Bangkok has been in touch with you recently with regards the purchase of mother cultures of tropical mushroom varieties.
I have been very impressed with all your activities over the years, and have enjoyed the English language parts of the AnonBiotec website even before my colleague got in touch. So it is my pleasure to contact you now and ask your advice on some matters relating to the purchase of mother cultures for mushroom spawn production.
1. We currently grow 'American Oyster' (Pleurotus ostreatus var. Florida I think - no label on the spawn we get) and Abalone (Pleurotus cystidiosus) with spawn imported from Sri Lanka. When the lab is finished we would like to continue making these varieties. Would you recommend:
a. starting from fresh pure imported mother culture, or
b. trying tissue culture from fresh mushrooms we produce (I know the technique but have not done this before), or
c. starting with imported spawn?
My concern is that the quality of our imported spawn may not be very good, and our yields may be low as a result. I would also like to know exactly what 'American Oyster' we are growing.
2. Our owner is passionate about mushrooms, and we would like to increase the number of varieties we grow here. I have found the following varieties growing naturally here in the jungle and would hope to produce spawn from these (once positively identified!):
a. Paddy straw mushrooms - Volvariella Volvacea (though there is a rumour that these are not native - that a member of staff from Thailand brought some spawn and scattered it in the compost we produce for the gardens.) We are eating these already.
b. Wood ear mushrooms - probably Auricularia polytricha growing on old logs
c. Reishi mushrooms - I hope Ganoderma lucidum on coconut stumps
Would you recommend tissue culture replication so that we are using varieries that are adapted to the local environment? Or should we start from mother culture?
3. We would like to grow other mushrooms too. Here are some details of our environment:
- resort occupies one island 1400m x 350m (large by Maldives standards)
- we have a concrete mushroom hut for cultivation, a positive pressure laboratory is currently under construction
- very stable climate, 27-32 deg C throughout the year
- approx. 70% humidity
- rainy season for June-July, otherwise fairly dry
- we have a lot of hardwood tree waste (Indian Almond - Terminalia Catappa) which I would like to turn into sawdust for substrate. Do you know this wood?
- we also have lots of coconuts and can separate the coco peat for substrate material.
a. What would you recommend?
b. Can you supply mother cultures of these varieties?
c. What would the cost be?
d. Any other considerations?
As a side note, we must find a way to grow Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) as we import more Shiitake than anything else but button mushrooms. I would like to grow Milky Mushrooms (Calocybe indica) as an alternative to our imported button mushrooms. I would also like to try other oyster varieties.
Sorry to give you so many questions. I would love to visit you in person on day, and attend a training course in some of your tropical mushroom varieties.
Thank you for your time,
Kind regards
Gordon Jackson
Mushroom cultivator
Soneva Fushi Resort
Maldives


Pai_Anonworld

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Prof. Dr. Anon reacted with the request from Maldives

ตั้งหัวข้อ  Pai_Anonworld on Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:24 pm

Dear Gordon,

So excited to get this message and learning that there is such a wonderful mushroom project in Maldives whereas I used to visit several times during my assignment in Sri Lanka as UNDP Mushroom Expert funded by World Bank during 1985-1989. We uaed to explore the feasibilities to grow mushroom in Maldives with our local counterpart but it seemed at that time we had been shown or visited only small islands in which could not be used to grow mushroom due to most of the visited place had faced the moisture directly from the ocean. It is therefore so surprising to learn from you that there is such a big island in Maldives as you mentioned and I have never been before. Well in this case, with big extend of land, I am sure that one could grow many kind of tropical mushroom as you are well aware. To elaborate with your querries here below are our comments :

1. a. This could be done in case you do not have them

b. It is advisable to do so due to you would get the one which being proven that it has been successfully grown with the prevail condition at site. But one should bear in mind that the mushroom to be used for tissue culture should be free from virus or any contaminants.

c. As mentioned in a. In fact, American Oyster mushroom which I gave to Sri lanka in 1985 was the white oyster and do well in tropical climate like in Sri Lanka including Maldives but the texture and taste may not be as good as our new improved one (color could be from tan, gray, pale white with small but in cluster, medium and large but few in number) with high yield and better texture. By the way for your information, in Thailand, Thai people love to use Bhutanese oyster(Pleurotus eous similar to Indian oyster(Pleurotus sajor-caju)) more than American oyster due to good taste , best flavor and not tough.

2. a. with the said climate as you did mention, I am sure that you could easily grow Straw mushroom all year round provided you could find suitable substrate. Best substrate could be oil palm empty bunch after steaming and cotton waste.

b. Sure you could grow this Ear mushroom.

c. Same as mentioned on b. and you could do both for comparision and finding the best varieties for future.

3. The prevail climate in this island is preferable to many kind of valuable tropical mushroom both for fresh mushroom as fresh vegetables and medicinal mushroom . Concerning plants in the island one have to try to use and also fast growing plant like cassia, legume tree are recommended to be grown and used as mushroom substrate locally. For your information, coconut dust or coir is not suitable for mushroom media.

a. As already given.

b. Yes we could do but this business is not our main one.

c. Our price coincide with ATCC (American Types Culture Collection) rate currently around US$ 210 except our regular customers or neighbouring countries we would charge only US$ 70

d. N.A.

For the side note : Shiitake cultivation here could be done provided you used the right varieties( tropical or warm varieties, ok). For other like Milky or other tropical could be done too

At present we do not have any training class for English version apart from Thai language only.

Best regards

Prof. Dr. Anon Auetragul


Pai_Anonworld

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Reponsed mail from Maldives to Prof.Dr. Anon Auetragul

ตั้งหัวข้อ  Pai_Anonworld on Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:04 pm

Dear Dr. Anon,

Thank you so much for your detailed reply to my questions.

It is so interesting to hear that way back in the 1980's you were in Sri Lanka, introducing new varieties and thinking about mushroom growing in the Maldives. And only now we are producing the first spawn lab here... over 30 years later. You will have seen many countries introduced to mushrooms during your work with UNDP and in your own country, and I'm sure you could offer much advice on how to successfully introduce mushrooms in the Maldives.

Traditionally locals here don't eat mushrooms, so it may take some time for people to appreciate them in their diet. In fact the Dhivehi/Maldivian word for mushroom is "Ghost Umbrella". Doesn't sound very tasty!

However there are over 100 resorts in this country, and 99% import all their mushrooms from Thailand, Sri Lanka, Dubai etc. (Only here at Soneva Fushi do we grow our own, and still we only produce a quarter of our needs. I am aiming to grow 100% i.e. ~1500kg/year of mushrooms here on the island in the coming years).Thank you for all your advice on new varieties we could try, and I look forward to further conversations with you in future on these matters.

Meanwhile, I just wanted to thank you for your interest in our project, and to say that I will collect some photos of our current activities so that you can get a better idea of what we are doing. I'll send them over soon.

Thanks again,

Kind regards

Pai_Anonworld

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Share persoal view to start mushroom business in Maldives by Prof. Dr. Anon Auetragul

ตั้งหัวข้อ  Pai_Anonworld on Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:56 pm

Dear Dordon,
Million thank for your prompt response, I was the first Mushroom Expert in Sri Lanka attached to SLEDB(Sri Lanka Export Development Board) thru UNDP funde3d by World Bank during 1985-1989 just like Maldivian, Sri Lankan too did not consume mushroom for their daily diet, most of them reluctant to take or try due to poisonous mushroom rumour, it took us years to educate them to take mushroom as functional food(not just food or vegetables but for their health benefit too). When I first started to impart mushroom technology from my own family business to the public in Thailand in 1972, Thais consumed mushroom for their diet only 235 gm. per capita per annum at that time Thailand had faced seriuos malnutritional problem and most of mushroom used being imported. But after we have encouraged our people to grow mushroom or their own with appropriate and applicable ways and eat mushroom as functional food, currently the everage per capita has been tremendously increased into over 6,000 gm. per year. I am of opinion that in Maldives should be the same, it might take some time to educate the local to familiar with exotic mushroom. Through my own experiences, After my lenghty service as International Mushroom Expert to many countries in Asia&Pacific, Africa and Latin America I have found that I had misled the public by teaching our trainees to learn how to grow mushroom fram A-Z , starting from tissue culture, spawn production, cultivation practice, fructification, processing and so on. It might be right to know the sequence of the production but it may not be right for the beginner or the small project. Now we have found that if one could introduce the consumption practice to mushroom in various forms, then motivate them to grow mushroom from the growing kid unit before growing in commercial, business or big scale with their own lab to produce pure cultures and spawn. If I am not so inquisitive, I really do not know your plan or your project, if for charity it would be find to go ahead, if for public business both benefit to the project and local participation, I would rather suggest that at your island you have valuable land and climate whereas surrounded with vast potential from over 100 resorts required fresh mushroom, if it is so I would rather concentrate in producing fresh mushroom by using impregnated spawn to supply fresh mushroom daily all over the resorts. Look at how Chinese people within the past few years could grow mushroom every corner around the world by using my perception ie. set up impregnated spawn production unit whereas raw material, manpower, energy and other cultivation requisition cheaply available. But for the place like in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Europe etc.could easily or simply import the impregnated spawn for fresh mushroom production at the proper cropping house which would take 3-5 days to produce mushroom. This practice could be adopted into your firm here too to start fulfil the local demand and to coincide with this practice one could also do the whple process by their own. This just for my own view to make the project breakthrough in very short period.

For your kind information

Best regards

Prof.Dr. Anon Auetragul

Pai_Anonworld

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