The Research and Development Office (RDO), in collaboration with the University Community and Development Office (UCDO), VALUE Negros, and Department of Agriculture, conducted a Mushroom Technology Transfer Training at the Provincial Soils Laboratory, Panaad Park, November 25-26, 2019.
The training is a research and extension project which aimed to transfer the Mushroom Technology to the RESOURCE community and walk-in participants from the Negros Organic Festival. This is part of the EnvRich, one of the eight components of the VALUE Negros’ Climate Charge Program, wherein it aims to energize research and extension for climate resiliency in the Augustinian way.
According to Dr. Mona Freda Secondes, Director of the Research and Development Office, the mushroom has been initially identified as the possible technology that can be transferred to the community because it is one of the identified potential alternative crops which can withstand the effects of climate change, thus, this training was organized.
The two-day training consisted of three modules, which involved the orientation of mushroom culture and production of fruiting bags, mushroom grain spawn production, and mushroom pure culture production or tissue-culture method. Pedrito Dela Torre and Maribel Saquian, staff from the Department of Agriculture, and Josie Jimenez, a mushroom grower and member of the United Mushroom Producers and Processors Association of Negros (UMPPAN), spearheaded the workshop, lecture, and demonstration of the modules.
Ms. Saquian led the lecture of the first module, which focused on the orientation of the mushroom culture. Afterward, Mr. Dela Torre demonstrated the production of fruiting bags and aided each of the participants to make their own fruiting bags. Almost all the participants were able to experience making their fruiting bags. Ms. Jimenez took charge of giving a lecture and demonstration of the mushroom grain spawn production and mushroom tissue-culture method, wherein some of the participants were able to get a first-hand experience of doing the said methods in front of the other participants. With the assistance of Ms. Jimenez, seven participants from RESOURCE, namely Mrs. Eugenia Salazar, Mrs. Elinor Mariano, Mrs. Gloria Tan, Mrs. Evelyn Tan, and Mr. Mateo Giganto, were able to try the demonstrated procedure.
A total of 53 participants joined the training, wherein 12 of which were from RESOURCE – Handumanan, and the rest were walk-in participants from the Negros Organic Festival. Besides the staff of the Department of Agriculture and a mushroom grower from UMPPAN, representatives from the collaborating parties were also present, namely; Dr. Mona Freda Secondes, Mrs. Ma. Cecilia Mercado, and Ms. Kaye Eunice Lamera from the RDO; Ms. Joy Dela Cruz from UCDO; Ms. Ester from VALUE Negros.
After the training, a focus group discussion (FGD) with the participants from RESOURCE – Handumanan was conducted by Ms. Lamera. The goal was to get their share of opinion and sentiments regarding the training and their plans after the training. Most have shared their desire to try and engage in the mushroom industry, how they were inspired by the lecturers, and how they gained meaningful insights and learnings throughout the two-day training.
As a form of support, the RDO gave the recipients from RESOURCE – Handumanan a small Mushroom Production starter pack which consisted of polypropylene plastic, PVC necks, waste cotton, inoculating tool, hydrated lime, and sorghum substrate for spawn preparation. They also went home with sterilized fruiting bags inoculated with cultured mushroom spawn as the output for their workshop.