Varsity wants more people to grow mushrooms

MACHANG: In line with the government’s recommendation to ensure food security, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Kelantan branch has opened a new chapter on mushroom cultivation.

It is using the modular smart mushroom house, namely the iMistroom 2000 system, the first in Malaysia, to produce white oyster mushrooms in its Machang campus.

Dr Syerina Azlin Md Nasir, an information technology lecturer and member of the Internet of Things (IoT) mushroom research group, said the method developed between iMistroom and IoT would not only increase the production of mushrooms up to twice as compared to normal methods, but also help students and the local community generate income to improve their standard of living.

“Contemporary mushroom houses that incorporate this IoT system can provide more inclusive environmental control, cost-effective design and selection of building materials as well as easier maintenance processes.

“The incubator also gives an opportunity to students and the B40 group to get skills and guidance from us to start a business based on white oyster mushrooms,” she said here yesterday, Bernama reported.

Syerina Azlin said a total of 2,000 blocks of white oyster mushrooms could be put in the incubator, where each block can produce five to six harvests and a maximum of 5kg per day for 1,000 blocks.

“We also hope to generate an income stream for the undergraduates and local community.

“The important thing is the transfer of knowledge so there are more white oyster mushroom entrepreneurs because the demand for them is very high in the market right now,” she said.

Final-year bachelor in business administration marketing student Wan Muhammad Syukri Wan Norjik, 25, who is also the project’s pioneer, said the iMistroom 2000 could be monitored and controlled from a distance because it was equipped with a “cooling pad” to maintain the temperature at a constant rate to promote the growth and expansion of mushrooms.

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