ABSTRACT Mushroom farming is being promoted by governments, national and other international development organisations to reduce rural and urban poverty, creating employment and improving food security. The main objective of this study was to assess the adoption of oyster mushroom farming among beneficiaries of the PROMUSH Project implemented by the Adentan Municipal Assembly in 2015. Specifically, the study sought to, i) determine the knowledge level of PROMUSH trainees of oyster mushroom farming ii) estimate the determinants of adoption among trainees and iii) identify and rank constraints to oyster mushroom farming in the Adentan Municipality. Primary data was collected using structured questionnaires for individual respondents and interview guide for focus group discussions. Seventy (70) respondents were sampled from mushroom farmers who have been trained under the PROMUSH Project in the Municipality. The knowledge index formula, descriptive statistics, binary logistic regression model as well as Kendall’s Coefficient of Concordance were used in the analysis of the data. The results indicate that, about 73% of respondents had medium knowledge level, 17% had high knowledge level, and 10% had low knowledge level of oyster mushroom farming. This means that mushroom farmers in the Municipality have moderate knowledge in oyster mushroom farming. The results of the adoption level show that 55 respondents, representing (78.6%) were currently producing oyster mushrooms. This makes adoption level high among respondents. The results from the logistic regression show that variables such as gender, household size and annual income tended to be factors that statistically influenced adoption of oyster mushroom farming. The Kendall’s result shows that there is agreement among respondents ranking of constraints.
1.1 Background to the Study
Agriculture plays an important role in urban development, food security, poverty reduction and overall economic growth. According to FAO (2003), agriculture is the main source of income for about 2.5 billion people in developing countries. Peri-urban development in developing countries around the globe is mainly income diversification and attainment of competitive structure for agriculture, creating job opportunities, improving food security, and reducing poverty. According to Anon Biotech, (2010) mushroom production can assist in poverty alleviation, through the provision of a fast yielding nutritious source of food, strengthen livelihoods and provide a reliable source of income. Agriculture all over the world was mainly the production of crops and rearing of animals for consumption. However, in recent times, agriculture has evolved to include the domestication and production of certain products that were picked in the wild such as snails, mushrooms, and honey, among others. Mushroom also serve as a potentially valuable and cheaper source of protein, more importantly to the low-income households in most developing countries.
The forest, which serves mankind with benefits such as food, fodder, building materials, carbon sink, energy, and recreational purposes, has been home for many species of mushroom growing in the wild. A persistent problem like climate change, bush fire, deforestation, application of chemicals (herbicides, fungicides insecticides), and the over-exploitation of timber and other forest resources has now reduced and in some cases stopped the growth of wild mushrooms in forest and rural areas. Mushroom cultivation involves the provision of the medium and the right environment for the fungi (mushrooms) to expand their mycelia till it forms a fruiting body. There are about 2,000 species of edible mushrooms around the world and very few have been cultivated artificially. The most popular among these are, white button mushroom (Agaricus