The National Mushroom Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NAM-GP-MAN) is poised to take a fair share of the world mushroom market for the Country.
President of the association Chief Michael Awunor, gave this indication when he led the Local Organising Committee for 2021 Mushroom Week to the headquarters Of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).
The president cited the 2018 report of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which put the world mushroom market at $45billion with China having about 46 per cent of the total supply and consumption.
According to Awunor, the present production of a mere 1.5million metric tons of mushroom in Nigeria is unacceptable in the light of the need to diversify the nation’s economy.
The president, therefore, disclosed that his association is determined to secure for Nigeria, at least, 10 per cent of the world mushroom market in the next two years.
Awunor expressed optimism that the goal of his association was realistic if 10 per cent of Nigerians consume at least 1kilo of mushroom per month. In the end, 20million kilograms of mushroom would have been consumed.
He observed that the market for mushrooms is huge and has so much potential to contribute to the growth of the nation’s gross domestic products (GDP).
Furthermore, the president revealed that mushroom has proven medicinal benefits and if properly harnessed along its value chain, holds a lot of promise to provide employment for the growing number of youths in the country.
Towards this end, the association has instituted a National Mushroom Week intended to sensitise the populace of the tremendous nutritional, medicinal and economic benefits of mushrooms.
Awunor, therefore, solicited for the partnership and collaboration of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism to ensure the success of the Mushroom Week. In particular, the president requested the Institute to sponsor the Menu Competition that would feature during the week and also be the Chief Judge of the event.
He disclosed that the National Council for Arts and Culture, Director, Commodities and Export Department, Federal Ministry Of Industry, Trade and Investment and the wife of the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria are to serve as judges.
Responding, Nura Sani Kangiwa, the director-general, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism gave an assurance that his Institute was willing to work with the mushroom association to undertake a sensitisation campaign for increased mushroom production and consumption across the nooks and crannies of the country.
Towards this end, he called for the constitution of a joint committee of the association and the Institute to draw up a framework for collaboration beyond the Mushroom Week
Nura Sani Kangiwa, who himself says he is a farmer, offered to be a member of the association and promised to deploy both his official and personal influence to drum up support for the association.