Mushroom-based food products in Mallig, Isabela readies for technology commercialization

Itong mushroom technology enterprise ay isa sa na-highlight namin during the recently held CVRR4DEN Regional Technology Forum in Cagayan the other week. Ito ang commodity na halos nakumpleto na natin ang value chain segment niya from input, production, down to processing and postharvest,” said DA-Cagayan Valley OIC-Regional Executive Director Rose Mary G. Aquino.

She confidently shared this to the members of the Kabute-han ng Malligenong Magsasaka Association (KMMA), partner farmer group, and the program focals from DA-BAR during the inception meeting of the technology commercialization project on mushroom-based food project on 2 August 2023 in Mallig, Isabela.

Funded by DA-BAR, the project aims to improve the current production and processing capacity of KMMA and CJM Mushroom Products Manufacturing in compliance with safety, quality, and market standards, as well as assess the profile and requirements of the potential market of mushroom-based food products in the region.

It is expected to produce a standard protocol for mushroom production suited for processing of mushroom-based food products, provide quality processing equipment designed to augment daily production capacity to at least 20-30%, and facilitate the certification needed to adhere to quality and safety standards, specifically the Food and Drug Administration-License to Operate.

Wala tayong ibang mithiin kung hindi umasenso kayong mga magsasaka sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng rice wastes for the production of mushroom; para magkaroon ng additional income ang rice farmers through mushroom production marketing enterprise. Hindi lang [ito] simpleng marketing enterprise. Ide-develop [din nito] ang capacity ninyo to become a business partner, incubatee in the future,” Aquino said.

KMMA, with 41 members, is involved in oyster mushroom production. Some of them are also into rice, corn, and vegetable farming. They primarily sell their fresh mushrooms to CJM Mushroom Products Manufacturing, while the remaining are sold in the market at a competitive price. The latter then processes these into kikiam and fishball, which are distributed to more than 30 distributors in Tabuk, Tuguegarao, Cauayan, Echague, Ilagan, Santiago, Alicia, Tumauini, and Cabagan.

During the meeting, KMMA president and CJM Mushroom Products Manufacturing Cerilo Sumajit, Jr. said that the low supply of fresh mushrooms and their non-compliance with food safety standards were their biggest challenges at the moment in furthering to further their growth and market penetration. He also laid out their plans on expanding the association’s production, as well as their aspirations to reach more consumers and explore other ventures. (### Rena S. Hermoso)