Mushroom production is prospective branch for Armenian Agriculture
Mushroom production in Armenia is a new branch; however, there are producers that export fresh and canned mushroom. "Armenpress" has an interview with the director of the company "Healthy Mushroom" Suren Davtyan.
- Ten years ago, when you started the mushroom production, how was the situation in this sphere, did You have major competitors and what kind of problem did You face on Your way?
- When we started our activity, we were working in one room, where was producingcompost, and mushroom’sproduction was more experimental. Later we added the production of fresh mushroom and sector brunt becoming an agricultural subsector. When we started this business, there were several small farms in Armenian mushroom industry. They did not have resources to study this sphere and eventually ceased their activities. We chose this sector as a key and reached to the level, that is producing compost in big quantities. We may state that the mushroom production is a formed separate branch. It is important, because a lot ofemployees are involved and participate in the production process.
- Are there other companies that produce mushroom, what there are doing to be a separate branch in Armenia?
- From the beginning we aimed to represent such a product, which will be ecologically pure and healthy product for the society. Our product does not contain any additives that has an artificial affect on the shape, size and quantity of the mushroom. We made an accent on the domestic production. The Company provides approximately 350 million income to the farmers by purchasing straw. At the same way we purchase poultry manure from poultry factories. If the factory should make expenditure for the utilization of the poultry manure, we use it in our production and during the technological development the poultry manure is utilized.
- Your Company takes the leading positions in Armenia in production of compost like the leading countries in the world: the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine. What kind of technology do You use for the production of compost and according to the quality standards does it satisfy to the standards of the above mentioned countries?
- For the production of compost we use such technology, which is applied by the Dutch, it just depends on the compounds ofraw materials, there are just some differences.
There are many features that affect on the quality of compost, in Armenian conditions we are working to provide such a qualified compost as it is in the European countries.
Up to this day, the European experts who visited us, has an opinion that we manage to get a qualified raw material. Mushroom substrate – compost, is produced from straw, poultry manure, gypsum and water, all this components are mixed and by passing a special technological cycle create an environment for the mushrooms growth. For the first the compost passes a pasteurization phase, during which all the bacteria are annihilated, which prevents the mushroom growing. Then, during the production process, the appropriate heat and humidity with the other parameters provide such an environment during which already seeded mushroom spawn starts to grow.
The mushroom yield is calculated by square meters, from one square meter, which is calculated 100 kg compost You may get 20 kg mushroom. The mushrooms are picked in three flashes. After 37-38 days, when the compost is inserted, the first mushroom flash is picked, the flash range is approximately 5 days, that’s is the compost life is approximately two months. Actually, monthlyis producing about 1000 tons of compost.
- What opportunity do You have for mushroom export, whether product is competitive in other markets?
Actually, we are studying the possibilities and cost recovery scheme, which will give us an opportunity to enlarge the export. Besides, it has an opportunity in the production of canned mushrooms. From the export side it may have a great volume. The mushroom of Armenian origin has such taste features that are persisted even after cannery process. The main advantage is; for example if compare it with the canned mushrooms imported from China.
- It’s often stated that membership in the Eurasian Economic Union can be a stimulus for the development of agriculture sector. Did You examine the opportunities for the mushroom export?
I think that relation with both Eurasian Economic Union and EU will be favorable for the business. If we speak about the general economic development or the development of its separate branch the question should be tackled from the micro economical side and embrace not the short-term but the long-term development principles. Once it is difficult to implement the large-scale exports, because either carriage conditions or contractual points should be discussed. Mushroom is such an organism, which should have a refine approach. A person who is unfamiliar with this sphere may think it’s like to pick potatoes, but there a lot of trifles with the mushroom picking. Other companies also deal with the mushroom growing that are involved in the Union, however, this does not exclude the possibility of the export of mushroom by our side.
Interviewed by GoharAvetisyan, "Armenpress"