The much talked about economic diversification can become a reality through export of mushroom. The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) while making this position known, insisted that Nigeria can significantly improve on its foreign exchange through investment in mushroom production.
The Executive Director of the NEPC, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, made the assertion yesterday in Enugu during a capacity building workshop organised for members of the National Mushroom Growers, Processors and Marketing Association of Nigeria (NAMGP- MAN). Awolowo said that the country, having been blessed with the right climate and ecological conditions to sup-port mushroom cultivation, could be a major player in global mushroom production. He said that the country could not afford to gloss over mushroom production as its value had continued to significantly increase in the international market. He said that the production of mushroom in 2018 stood at 8, 993, 280 tons with China accounting for 46 per cent of the output.
He said that the production of mushroom in Africa within the same period stood at 28, 767 tons contributed mainly by South Africa, Madagascar, Morocco, Algeria, Zimbabwe and Tunisia. “The global market for mushroom is also huge and growing exponentially.
The market is estimated at $45.3billion in 2020 and projected to reach $72.5billion by 2027. “The growing market for mushroom is due to the rising global awareness for healthy food and food and preferences towards vegan foods,” he said. Awolowo said that the foregoing had made mushroom highly preferred as a protein, vitamin and mineral rich substitute of meat. “Nigeria is blessed with the right climatic and ecological conditions to support mushroom cultivation.