Chi Tola Roberts, the CEO of ChiTola Farms Ltd, pioneer growers of commercial mushroom in Nigeria, has added another major feat in the history of mushroom cultivation in Nigeria by successfully growing Pink Oyster Mushroom commercially.
Chitola Farms is well known for its gourmet mushroom cultivation and value addition. They gave se eral mushroom based products to their credit under their food brand called "ChiTi Foods" and have also developed recipes for other small holder farmers. Their product is the first Nigerian product to make it onto the Shoppers Mart in the US.
The pink oyster mushroom, a naturally-occurring variety of the normally white Pleurotus djamor, closely resembles most other oyster mushroom species, except for the bright pink color, which unfortunately fades with cooking. The taste is also broadly similar to that of other oysters. The Pink Oyster grows quickly and due to this it is resistant to contamination by molds. It fruits heavily, which makes it a favorite with hobbyist growers. The color makes it popular wherever it is sold. Unfortunately, pink oysters have a very short shelf-life, so they are not sold in very many places.
Besides the taste and lovely color, pink oyster mushrooms are a healthy food and may convey certain other health benefits, a possibility supported by modern research.
She said in an interview that having successfully grown the pink oyster, she was going to empower other farmers to do same.
She begged government to support the mushroom sector and also encouraged women and youth to engage in this money spinning venture.
You recollect this young woman loosing her entire farm to fire in 2020, she single handedly started picking the pieces and rebuilding. She never gave up even as no support came from either government or anyone. Today, her determination has brought another chance for upgrade to Nigerian Mushroom farmers.