- Category: Agri-Commodities
09 May 2013
- Written by Marvyn N. Benaning
A MUSHROOM-TECHNOLOGY center (MTC) will soon rise in Tarlac province as part of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) efforts to increase production of the fungus and eventually erase dependence on imports, which account for 90 percent of the annual supply.
Construction of the MTC is estimated at P8 million, P3 million of which will be provided by Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and the rest by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR). Once built, the facility aims to make farmers earn P300 per kilo from mushrooms, which are mostly imported from Taiwan.
“We import 90 percent of our mushrooms. But we want Central Luzon, including Tarlac, to be known as a major producer of mushrooms. These [fetch] P180 per kilo at farmgate and P300 per kilo at retail. When processed, [the mushrooms] can give additional income to our farmers,” said Emily A. Soriano, DA-Regional Field Unit 3 project leader.
According to the DA, the MTC would enable the people of Tarlac to manufacture value-added processed food items from mushrooms like tocino, longganisa siomai, burger and sisig.
Soriano said other processed food items can be made from the fungus like jams, candies, crackers, cookies, polvoron, wine, pan de sal with malunggay, barquillos, muffins and powder.
The DA is targeting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to become beneficiaries of the technologies to be shared by the MTC, according to BAR Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar.
“Alcala wants our OFWs in Hong Kong and Singapore to [be] oriented on business opportunities when they go back [home]. So we decided we should improve our facilities, since this is a good employment program for them,” Eleazar said.
If processed, mushrooms can last up to 14 months, depending on their packaging and storage. If not, they will only last for three days, since their substantial water content can make them stale quickly.
When fresh mushrooms are turned into value-added products, their profitability increases from 30 percent to 70 percent.
In a DA-Central Luzon Integrated Agricultural Research Center report, the estimated value-added income for producers ranges from P40 per kilo to P239 per kilo of mushrooms.