Title: The Impact of Mushroom Characteristics on the Performance of Oyster Mushrooms among Small- Scale Farmers: A Study in Mumias Division, Mumias Sub-County, Kenya.
Author(s): Andrew, O. Nyakundi
Year 2023
File: PDF
Keywords: Mushroom characteristics Production Performance

Mushroom cultivation plays a crucial role in bolstering a country's economic development, offering both
nutritional and medicinal benefits. The global mushroom industry comprises edible, medicinal, and wild
mushrooms, with global production being relatively low, especially in Africa due to factors such as ignorance,
negligence, and marginalization. Of the 64,000 mushroom species worldwide, only 300 are edible, and merely 30
are cultivated. The accurate identification of edible varieties stands at a meager 17%, possibly contributing to
concerns about poisoning incidents and hindering mushroom production. In Kenya, the domestication of two
mushroom varieties, Button and Oyster, has resulted in an annual mean production of 500 tons, supplemented by
importation of 150 tons. The characteristics of mushrooms, such as anatomy, smell, and color, play a crucial role in
distinguishing between edible and inedible varieties, yet research on these aspects remains insufficient. This study
aimed to explore the impact of mushroom characteristics on the performance of the oyster mushroom enterprise.
Anchored on the Need for Achievement Theory and guided by a conceptual framework, the research employed a
descriptive research design with a study population of 300, from which a sample of 30 growers participated.
Cluster random sampling was utilized, and data were collected through questionnaires, analyzed using SPSS. The
findings revealed a predominance of female (53.3%) over male (46.7%) participants in mushroom production, with
older individuals (66.6%) outnumbering youths (33.3%). Most growers (76.7%) had less than one year of
experience. The study highlighted that oyster mushrooms exhibit a grey color and a pleasant smell. In conclusion,
mushroom characteristics significantly influence the performance of oyster mushrooms. Recommendations
included the adoption of new mushroom species, the establishment of a Mushroom Training Institute, and the
development of incentive schemes. The outcomes are expected to benefit policymakers, mushroom growers,
scholars, and researchers, contributing to the advancement of mushroom cultivation practices