County in SE China’s Fujian upgrades edible fungus industry

(People's Daily Online) 15:19, March 17, 2023

Gutian county in southeast China’s Fujian Province has promoted the upgrading of its edible fungus industry, a pillar industry for the local economy.

In Fengzhu village, Panyang township, Gutian, Luo Lijuan, a local farmer, was busy with the management of snow fungi at her greenhouse.

Photo shows a snow fungi greenhouse in Gutian county. (Photo/Convergence Media Center of Gutian)

Luo said her dried snow fungi can sell for over 3,000 yuan ($434) per kilogram, compared with less than 40 yuan per kilogram in the past caused by the lack of technologies and effective management, low yield, and low quality.

Strict standards have since been set for each link of the planting of snow fungi, ranging from the selection and breeding of fungus varieties to the development of the growth medium, the building of edible fungus greenhouses, and plantation management, according to Luo.

“Only those who receive systematic training are qualified for the professional planting of snow fungi,” said Lin Yanquan, chief edible fungus expert at the Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences and dean of an institute of the snow fungus industry built by the academy and a local company.

Luo receives fungus seeds and cultivation nutrients free of charge from the company, cultivates snow fungi under technical guidance, and sells her snow fungi to the company at an agreed price. “Now I have lower risks, and my snow fungi can sell at a higher price,” said Luo.

Luo adds more ingredients to the growth of snow fungi to ensure that her mushrooms taste better and have higher nutritional value. “Now I attach more importance to quality than the output of the fungus,” she said.

To prevent and control diseases and pests, experts from the Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences developed a new method by putting netting on farmers’ fungus greenhouses while advising them to frequently inspect the premises. Luo estimated that the rate of infestation of her 40,000 snow fungi, which are pesticide-free, is less than five thousandths. The method has been promoted across Gutian county.

The output value of the county’s edible fungus industry reached 23.5 billion yuan in 2022, said Zhang Chenghui, the Party chief of the county, adding that the county will continue upgrading its edible fungus industry to bring prosperity to locals.

About 70 percent of farming households in the county engage in the production, supply and sale of edible fungi, and about 70 percent of farmers’ cash earnings come from the edible fungus industry.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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