Mushroom marketing is not easy, especially if you are lazy and a coward. Marketing, in general, is a big challenge to many people and sincerely speaking, it is the main reason, the majority live in poverty because they fear to face the world (people) to fearlessly ask for what they want and need to succeed in life.
Everything you need in life is with people and the market for your mushrooms is people, therefore, if you fear to talk to people, your mushrooms have no market, or you will end up selling to brokers and permanently become a slave to them.
Marketing is the most important skill in life. Learn it early in your life young people because, in everything you do, marketing is involved examples are; you need it to pass job or college interviews, convince someone to do something for you, find a girlfriend or boyfriend, etc.
What are mushrooms?
Did you know that a mushroom is not an animal nor is it a plant? It is not a plant nor is it an animal, so what is a mushroom? A mushroom is a FUNGUS (Fungi in the plural.) It belongs to a kingdom of its own, separate from animals and plants (Wikipedia).
Why Mushroom Farming
The mushroom is one of the fastest routes to getting rich through the farming sector. There are simple reasons for this;
a) Training opportunities are readily available at Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology at Juja
b) Space requirement is small because you need a (10×10) square feet hut to start growing your mushrooms
c) Investment capital required is around 150,000 Kenya shillings or less
d) The market is available
Is mushroom farming profitable
Mushroom farming is highly profitable as long as you get your training, so you know what you are doing and you know how to market your product. In Kenya, the price of mushrooms is 500 shillings per kilogram on average. The demand is higher than supply in Kenya and the reason some youths are becoming millionaire mushroom farmers in less than 3 years.
James Muchura from Juja was making 12,000 Kenya shillings per day in 2013. How much money did he make that year? Do your maths, please. How much is he making in 2020, bearing in mind that his business has really grown?
How much space does mushroom growing need
The space requirement is minimal. With a 10×10 square feet HUT, you are good to start. Then you may increase space as your farming venture grows.
Where do you sell your mushrooms?
There is a market for mushroom farmers. As a matter of fact, there are four mushroom marketing pathways to choose from. Every market is different from the other and the amount of money made is not equal in each market place. Some markets make you more money than others thus it depends on where you sell your mushrooms. Here are the mushroom markets you have to consider.
Brokers are the middlemen. They come to your farm to buy your produce at throwaway low prices. The farmer makes a little profit while the broker makes a huge profit for himself. This marketing model makes the farmer a slave to the broker because they, the brokers, grow rich at the expense of you, the working hard farmer.
This is the route many mushroom farmers take because they are lazy and they are cowards too. They fear going out to market their own produce hence being forced to live under the ruthless mercy of the cold broker.
2. Farmers market
The farmer’s markets are found in all towns, big or small, there you will find a market where farm produce is sold. Here to, a farmer cannot sell his produce to the buyer directly, unless you are in the village market. There are brokers here too and they make more profit than you too, meaning, you are being cheated out of your profits but not as much as the broker. City Park Market near the Agha Khan hospital is a prime example of a farmers market to sell your mushrooms.
3. Direct marketing – create your own mushroom marketing channels
The people who grow rich the fastest are the ones that don’t fear face to face meetings with the people who manage purchases (purchase manager or administrator) for the organizations they work for. In a supermarket, there is a person who does the purchasing of stock. That person is the one to talk too, befriend, and do business with. Here are the markets you can create on your own or in an organized group of mushroom farmers;
Open a Mushroom supply store
You can choose to open a mushroom store to act as your mushroom outlet. People walk in to buy fresh mushrooms from the store just like a butchery does. This is true if the farm is near a town. You could turn this into a mushrooms supply centre for your district. You could even start buying from other farmers at the farm price and become a distributor of mushrooms.
Restaurants are good customers for mushrooms. All that they need is a farmer or group of farmers who can promise a reliable and steady supply of fresh mushrooms around the year.
For a hotel to have mushrooms on the menu, someone has to convince them that they will be able to provide a steady supply of high-quality fresh mushrooms throughout the year. Hotels are patronized by tourists and the well to do in the society and hence they are strict on the quality of the product and a hundred per cent assurance on a steady supply. They pay well for delivery.
Supermarkets offer a steady market for mushroom farmers. And because you would be selling directly from the farm, your profits are high and thus will help grow your business.
Upper-class grocery stores
Where the financially stable members of the society live, you will find high-class grocers who sell the good stuff such as mushrooms and the original high-quality honey. They buy and sell quality to their financially endow customers. It’s a good market for a mushroom farmer.
Natural food stores
Life has since gone green and in the upper-class suburbs, you will find organic food stores. These are good places to supply fresh mushrooms.
Find a rare type of mushroom and contrite on its farming and marketing. Niche markets when done properly are extremely profitable because the competition is minimal while prices are high.
Since life as gone digital, there is no reason why you shouldn’t use digital marketing platforms to reach your customers. Open a business page on FaceBook for your mushroom farm. Then create a group for mushroom lovers from your business page. This will help market your business. Use all social media platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Twitter, Tinder etc., to market, promote, and sell your mushrooms.
4. Export Markets
There is always the option to export your mushrooms. For this, you need to work in groups of farmers to meet the terms and conditions of export markets. The Ministry of Agriculture is always eager to help and work with organized farming groups. Export markets are lucrative if you could organize other farmers to meet the set rules.
If you can get a 10×10 square feet space, there is no reason you shouldn’t get into mushroom farming. Especially, if you have a bad job or you are jobless. Do not say you don’t have capital, where there is a will, there is away. Then work hard to master mushroom marketing tactics.
Thanks for your visit
A list of mushroom brokers in Kenya