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University Student Rakes Income Selling Mushrooms

  • A final year student at Kabarak University is minting money by venturing into the mushroom business.

    Ruth Korat, who is pursuing clinical medicine, told Nation that the lucrative business earns her roughly Ksh 520,000 per cycle. 

    She noted that her passion for the fungi business began after a visit to a mushroom farm. 

    Ruth Korat, from Kabarak University, on her mushroom farm in Soy, Uasin Gishu County.

    Ruth Korat, from Kabarak University, on her mushroom farm in Soy, Uasin Gishu County.

    File

    “I started the venture in July last year after visiting a mushroom farmer in Eldoret for some lessons.

     “I developed an interest in mushrooms because I loved their soup, which costs high in restaurants,” she noted.

    This then led the 24-year-old to build a mud house at their parent’s farm, insert shelves in order to host the mushroom bags, and purchase the seeds. To raise enough capital, Korat borrowed Ksh 200,000 from her mother.

    She noted that mushrooms are different from other crops hence a strict routine must be followed to ensure good results.

    “The growing media is called a substrate which I make from wheat grain, wheat straw, cottonseed, and gypsum,” she stated.

    Furthermore, she added that the crop grows better in dark conditions during the first 2 weeks period and the temperature must be maintained above 240 degrees Celsius while the humidity above 90 percent.

    Usually, after two months, the student ends up with up to 4,000 punnets per crop cycle. The price per punnet ranges from Ksh130 to Ksh150.

    However, Korat noted that prices may fall up to Ksh60 or go high up to Ksh200 depending on the season as demand is high during the latter part of the year.

    Her main targets are hotels and restaurants in Eldoret town as well as orders from Nairobi and Mombasa.

    The success of the venture, Korat affirmed, has enabled her to break even and she hopes to open her own store in Eldoret dedicated to selling mushrooms. 

     She urged the youth to undertake the venture but also advised them to carry out extensive market research and learn various products from other farmers in order to avoid losses. 

    Aerial view of Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County

    Aerial view of Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County

    File

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