Mushroom Compost used in the Tropics
Sivalingam, P. M.
School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, 11800 Penang, Malaysia.
|Fertilizer application adversely effects the
health of soils due to heavy metals and pesticidal pollutants. Its usage worldwide
amounted to 146 million tons in 1989 and 131 tons in 1992, causing much concern. Its
detrimental effects on health and modes of transmission in rice fields and paddy has
already been reported, (1995).
With the rapid population increase in Malaysia and the region there has been a growing demand for perishable crops domestically and the export market. This paper delves upon the effective recycling of mushroom waste as a growth substrate favourably for organic agriculture in Malaysia.
In Penang, the commercial production of button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, normally results in the mulch being disposed as a waste-end-product utilizable from various stand- points. A plant production of ca. 8,000 - 10,000 lbs of button mushroom lands ca. 150 tons weekly of such resourceful material. The major ingredients constituting this mulch are raw rice straw, oil palm fibre, coconut fibre, chicken manure and a range of unidentified additives.
Investigations in amending the disposed mulch as a soil conditioner indicated overwhelming effects on chilli plants, Capsicum annum, egg-plants, Solanum melongena, okra, Hisbuscus esculentus, and papaya plants, Carica papaya, with maximal growth and productivities as follows:- i.e., chilli plants; 416.7 & 35.5%, egg-plants; 850 & 33,860.34%, and okra; 530 & 21,275.9%, at 20% amendment. This prominency is further reflected by branch and root proliferation in both chilli and egg-plants atributable to the existence of hormone-like promoters.
In Carica papaya, a protective mechanism against fungal attacks was observed attributable to the high contents Na of ca. 65,000 ppm, lime K; 65,000 ppm, P; 32,000ppm and C; 24%, along with high availability of silicate. Identical advantages were also observed for long-beans, cabbage and pineapple transpiring favourably the employment of button mushroom mulch in organic agriculture of tropical plants for positive economic and health benefits.
Sivalingam, P.M. and S.V. Charles (1995). Transmission of fertilizer contaminants to paddy grains. Proc. 17th Asean Technical Seminar on Grain Post-harvest Technology-Session 111. Mycotoxin Contamination in Grain. 25 - 27th July, 1995. Organized by ASEAN Food Handling Burean (AFHB) and Supported by National Paddy and Rice Company of Malaysia (BERNAS) together with the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR). Orient Star Hotel, Lumut, Perak, Malaysia, pg. 15 - 41.