- 12 June 2010 Straw Mushroom Training







































































Mushroom Development in Thailand

          Mushroom cultivation in Thailand had been practiced since time immemorial like Bean mushroom(Coprinus fimentarius) cultivation in the Northern region, Straw mushroom cultivation (Volvariella volvacea) in the Central region and Fan Mushroom(Schizophylum commune) cultivation in the Southern region. But the using new technology in producing mushroom pure culture and spawn was started in 1946 by Prof.Dr. Karn Jaranavicharn who has been honored by Thai as “Great Guru for Mushroom in Thailand” . Dr. Karn had not only successfully developed Straw mushroom pure culture and spawn but he also developed the cultivation method too by using rice straw which being left on the field after rice harvesting for 1-2 month to allow the root get rotted and easy to pull out. Using 40-60 bundles of dried straw with root(with 30 cm. in diameter or 3-4 kg.), soaked in water over night before preparing the bed on the open field(mostly at the rice field in after season). The soaked straw being laid by keeping root zone or butt end outward with 12-15 cm. thick, 60-70 cm. wide and for any length or as per designed, scattering straw mushroom spawn on the periphery around 7-10 cm. from the edge. The same manners for the second layer and so on but in hot season 3 layers or 45-60 cm. high should be appropriated except in cold 4-5 layers or 70-80 cm. high being recommended. Watering the bed after completion and leaves the bed without covering for 2-3 days to allow mushroom mycelium starting reactive and sprouting. On the 3 rd day using dry straw cover the bed slightly before set up fire to burn out unwanted or untidy materials including the immature mycelium(to avoid premature flushing). Covering the bed by dry straw or leaves to protect direct sun and quick evaporation for 7-9 days for mushroom mycelium running. Then open the bed for watering again to boost the mushroom mycelium to form mushroom with 3-5 days later. Yield could be obtained after preparation of the bed 12-15 days and would last in 40-50 days continuously.

Low bed methos in
straw mushroom cultivation

High bed methos in
straw mushroom cultivation

          This method, called “High Bed Method”, had been practiced for several years till farmers tried to modify into more simplier and easier ways by using less material with various kind of waste product, less space, less spawn, less labor force, less risky, more yield and save time. It was therefore the “Low Bed Method” was developed around 1967 by using various kinds of materials like any dried straw, corn leaves and stalk, legume straw and seed pod, fresh water hyacinth, banana leave, cassava peeled, oil palm empty bunch etc. The bed size should be 30 x 30 cm wide and high with 80-120 cm. long. This method could save materials and space more than 80 % in comparison to the High Bed Method, but yield could be obtained higher and faster within 9-12 days only. The Low Bed Method has been widely used in Thailand for decades but yet the production was still below the consumption demand as well as price was beyond common people to reach. The main reason and biggest constraint due to unavailable and too costly mushroom spawn which being done and guarded as confidential business amongst the vested people or some government officers. Some spawn makers could produce over 30,000 bags per day, each bag cost only fraction of Baht(local currency around 25 Baht per US$ in 1968) but the selling price around 3-5 Baht per bag(which take only 5 days to produce). Most of them become typical wealthy except the growers who did all the hard work are still poor and risky.

Trainer team in mushroom from
Kasetsart University led by
Dr.Anon 1974

Dr.Anon on TV show with
Ministry of Education 1976

          Though, straw mushroom cultivation had been practiced all around the country by using both High Bed and Low Bed methods, yet the production could not reach to the poor. In 1972, Thailand imported other kind of mushrooms like Ear mushroom, Button mushroom and Shitake mushroom) with million of US Dollar and the malnutrition rate particularly for the child age below 7 year around 47.7 % due to lack of protein intake. The mushroom consumption per capital was only 235 gm. While in developed country like Germany, USA, Japan was over 6,000 gm. Hence Anon Auetragul joined Mushroom Club in Kasetsart University in 1973, and conducted practical training for those interested people and parties in evening and weekend apart from his regular study as student in the university for 4 years, he could organize the training for more than 125 sessions or more than 30,000 passed out trainees. He was also conducted regular show in TV 5 morning program for every Saturday in 1974-1976 along with being regular columnist in Thairath newspapers(the biggest local newspaper in Thailand with 1,000,000 copies daily), since then mushroom cultivation in Thailand has become big boom and has gone to all walk of life including grass root level. All kind of cultivated mushrooms which being grown in other countries were imported for cultivation in Thailand. It took only 5 years, Thailand could become self reliance in mushroom production and become the world largest in straw mushroom producer with 60,000 ton capacity in 1977.

Princess Anne from UK played
courtersy visit to Dr. Anon activity
in Straw mushroom cultivation 1978

Candidate from Bhutan visited
mushroom farm in Thailand 1980

          Currently(2009), Thailand could produces straw mushroom over 500,000 ton with other 200,000 ton. With the great success in mushroom development in Thailand, through the wise observation by Prof. Dr. D.L. Umali , the former Regional FAO for Asia & Pacific’s Director who was looking for not only know how mushroom expert but he was looking for those who could be both know how and do how expert, in 1980 he sent his own family members including his wife and son to be trained in mushroom cultivation by Anon Auetragul for his future plan after the retirement. I had collected a lot of information and confident that Anon Auetragul should be the right person to be sent out as FAO mushroom expert to Bhutan government as per requested by the King. It was therefore at the end of 1980 he went to Bhutan to inform the King of Bhutan that he had found the right person to be the first mushroom expert in Bhutan. Subsequently, the King sent his uncle Dasho Ugen Dorji(Rimpoche), the Tashi group’s owner and Dasho C. Dorji, Director of Forestry Department(presently become King advisor) to Thailand for thoroughly checking the possibility in mushroom cultivation as well as the invitation from the Government of Bhutan through FAO to Anon Auetragul to be Mushroom Expert in Bhutan. In 1981 Anon went to Bhutan and worked as Mushroom Expert till midst of 1985 before moving to Philippines, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and in 1989 to Western Africa like Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Togo and Southern Africa like Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia etc up to 2003.

Group training in straw mushroom
cultivation by Dr. Anon

Straw mushroom by using
Anon 2009 technique

          During Prof. Dr. Anon Auetragul was serving as International Mushroom Expert in many countries in Asia & Pacific and Africa, he had conducted a lot of research in mushroom cultivation and collected hundreds of mushrooms from the wild in various locations. Some of them have been brought back to Thailand for further research and distributing. Because of his effort and contribution to mushroom business, Thailand now could become one of the world leader in mushroom production particular for tropical mushroom like Straw mushroom(Volvariella volvacea), Ear mushroom(Auricularia polytricha), Fan Mushroom(Schizophyllum commune), Hed Khon or Mango mushroom(Lentinus squarrosulus), Hed Lom or Thai Shiitake mushroom(Lentinus polychros) Hed Tong Fhon(Lentinus gigeateus), Rhino foot mushroom(Tricholoma crussum), Bean mushroom(Coprinus fimentarius), Oyster mushrooms(Pleurotus spp.) and Shiitake mushroom(Lentinus edodes) but also for nutriceutical(medicinal)mushrooms too like Linchi mushroom(Ganoderma lucidum), Turkey’s tail mushroom(Coriolus versicolor), Hed Piman(Phellinus linteus), Monkey head mushroom(Hericium erinaceus), White jelly mushroom(Tremella fuciformis). With gained and vast experiences in Tropical mushrooms, we are now ready to render our professional service for any people, party firm organization both for local and foreigners for practical training at real mushroom farms with closely supervise by Prof. Dr. Anon Auetragul, see more information in Practical Training Programme


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