The locally available white oyster mushroom can be an excellent substitute for meat and twenty-five persons are now equipped with the expertise to cultivate their own crop following a five-day workshop, according to the Department of Public Information (DPI).
The workshop, hosted by the University of Guyana’s Berbice Campus (UGBC), Johns Science Centre concluded on Saturday.
Director of UGBC, Professor Gomathinayagam Subramanian told DPI that the aim of the workshop was to minimise the use of inorganic fertilisers by promoting the use of vermicomposting and at the same time highlight some of the health benefits of mushrooms.
DPI said that in a bid to make the environment eco-friendlier the John’s Science Centre, with funding from private stakeholders, shared with the participants how to make vermicompost.
Vermicompost is the product of the composting process using various species of worms to create a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast.
Professor Subramanian said that the white oyster mushroom which is widely available in Guyana, is high in protein and fibre, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, folic acid, a wide range of vitamins and at the same time low in calories, gluten-free, sodium and cholesterol free.
“It is very nutritious, so, my intention is to make persons more aware of the benefits. At the end of the day, we preserve our nation in terms of being pollution free and encourage more use of the mushroom as a meat substitute. It has 10-15 percent more nutritious value than meats such as beef, mutton, duck, chicken and fish,” the professor said.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Ivelaw Griffith signaled his intention to replicate the workshop which he deemed “very successful” and important to the development of the agriculture sector in Guyana.
“The success of the workshop is further testimony to the value of any University beyond offering degrees. Sharing of knowledge does not require only a degree, short programmes, workshops, symposiums are always enabling. That the replication of knowledge facilitated by the University either at Turkeyen or Berbice is something that we take seriously…All of these opportunities makes for the moment where we find ourselves at the University an exciting one. Exciting not only because we are only doing what we have always done. We are doing something different” Professor Griffith said in his remarks.
At the conclusion of the closing ceremony, the participants and invitees sampled the cooked mushrooms which were prepared in the form of a curry, DPI said.