Wednesday, July 18 2018

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Quảng Trị man applies Israeli knowledge to mushroom farming

Update: April, 14/2018 - 09:00
Trần Văn Phúc stands inside his oyster-mushroom growing farm.—Photo dantri.com.vn
Viet Nam News

QUẢNG TRỊ —Trần Văn Phúc, a young man from central Quảng Trị Province, has learned how to grow oyster mushrooms at his university thanks to an agricultural course created through an Israel-Việt Nam partnership.    

When Phúc, who was born in 1993 in Lan Đình Village, Gio Phong Commune, graduated from the Biotechnology department at Đà Nẵng City’s Food and Foodstuffs College, many of his classmates sought jobs in the city. But he decided to return to his hometown in a poor commune in Quảng Trị Province, to start career in mushroom cultivation with the hope of escaping poverty.

Thanks to his success, neighbours have praised Phúc for his creative mind. He dared to do and was determined to get rich. And he had a secret weapon: thet raining he had received during a one-year agricultural course in Israel.

Phúc said that when he was in college, he was chosen along with 17 other outstanding students to join the programme.

Throughout the one-year learning course in Israel, Phúc learned modern cultivation techniques by working on farms.

Phúc said the Israelis were farming with the latest scientific techniques. In the orchards, most processes were automated. In addition, due to the development of organic vegetables, Israel was very limited in the use of chemical fertilizers.

After a year in Israel, he returned home and graduated from college. Thanks to experiences on mushroom planting technology, Phúc decided to come back home to set up his own mushroom farm.

First, he visited some successful mushroom farms in Quảng Trị to see how he might apply his knowledge from Israel to the Vietnamese mushroom industry.

In early 2017, he launched his career and chose oyster mushrooms as his first product, because this kind of fungus is popular and tasty.

With his family’s financial support, along with savings from his time in Israel, Phúc and his brother set up a VNĐ250 million oyster mushroom farm.

He said his business experienced losses in the initial period due to a lack of experience in mold treatment and understanding of climate conditions.

“The mushroom cultivation process is also potentially risky, so the basic requirement is to treat insects, catch fungal diseases and adjust the temperature accordingly,” Phúc said.

However, his first failures taught the young man lessons. For the following planting, he focused on giving care in the early growing stages to yield a strong harvest.

His farm’s oyster mushrooms have been present in all markets in the province. On average, he can harvest 200kg of mushroom each crop.

“Oyster mushrooms are very easy to sell in the market, with the price per kilogram of about VNĐ25,000-30,000,” he said.

Phúc said he is now processing the soil to prepare for a new mushroom-growing season.

If the growers invest time and meticulous care, mushrooms will grow well, according to Phúc, because in Việt Nam the supply doesn’t yet meet the increasing demand in big cities. “That also motivates me to continue expanding the farm,” he said.

“In addition to oyster mushrooms, I will grow some other kinds."-- VNS

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