Author: Nwatu Chijioke Maxwell
Department: Botany
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Studies were carried out to investigate indigenous use of mushroom in Anambra State. The most suitable substrates for cultivation of Pleurotus tuberregium and Volvariella volvacea were also investigated. Eleven Local Government Areas of Anambra State were randomly surveyed in which six hundred and fifty-six households were interviewed. Spawn of V. volvacea was obtained from the Department of Life Science, University of Benin, Edo State and sclerotia of P. tuberregium purchased from Eke Awka Market, Anambra State were used for this study. Plantain leaves, oil palm bunch wastes were substrates employed for V. volvacea whereas topsoil was used for P. tuberregium cultivation. Findings revealed that residents of Anambra State consume edible mushrooms as food and medicine. There was no significant (P0.05) difference between the respondents who use edible mushrooms as alternative to meat and fish those who did not use them in similar manner. Primordial emergence of V. volvacea was observed on day 11 on both the oil palm bunch wastes and plantain leaves while P. tuberregium was noticed 10 days after planting on topsoil substrate. Highest number of fruit bodies of V. volvacea was obtained from plantain leaves substrate on day 6 after primordial emergence whereas the least was recorded from oil palm bunch wastes on the same day. Highest number of P. tuberregium was observed on day 12 after primordial emergence on day 14. All the three substrates utilized supported the growth of mushrooms. Information obtained from respondents on the use of edible and medicinal mushrooms would form a baseline for further studies on ethnomedicinal practices among people of Nigeria and other regions of Africa. The ability to use agricultural wastes for cultivation of mushrooms will boost food production for the ever increasing population.

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