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BSM Lampung is financing Mushroom Cultivation in Lampung

The Lampung provincial administration is urging residents to engage in mushroom cultivation, especially the oyster and red varieties. Part of the drive is to establish a mushroom cultivation center in Batuputu, a mountainous area on the edge of Bandarlampung, and provide advice to mushroom farmers on how to market their produce to restaurants. One bank that has expressed willingness to work with restaurant owners and mushroom farmers in the Lampung branch of Bank Syariah Mandiri (BSM). Lampung BSM marketing manager Mulyawan said BSM would work with farmers and businessmen in mushroom cultivation.

Mushroom farming is Very profitable, not only to farmers, but also to the province, which is currently intensively promoting culinary tourism, especially mushroom dishes,” Lampung Vice Governor Joko Umar Said said at the opening of a mushroom-specialty restaurant in Bandarlampung recently. Apart from pushing for a mushroom production center, the Lampung provincial administration is also helping restaurant owners obtain bank loans.

“Banks will help those who are interested in developing mushroom cultivation and will grant farmers and restaurant owners soft loans. It is hoped that many restaurants in Bandarlampung will begin serving mushroom-based dishes to spur production and raise the incomes of farmers,” Joko said. One bank that has expressed willingness to work with restaurant owners and mushroom farmers in the Lampung branch of Bank Syariah Mandiri (BSM).

Lampung BSM marketing manager Mulyawan said BSM would work with farmers and businessmen in mushroom cultivation. “We will work with every Muhammadiyah business establishment, such as the Baitul Tamwil Muhammadiyah [BTM], in mushroom cultivation by providing capital that it can channel to mushroom farmers,” Mulyawan said.

He added that BSM had set aside Rp10 billion (US$1.1 million) from 2009 to 2010 for this purpose. BSM said it had also provided similar assistance in different amounts for East Lampung, Metro, Central Lampung and other regencies, and had so far provided between Rp 3 billion and Rp 4 billionfor the purpose.

Farms producing oyster and red mushrooms are mostly found in Tanggamus, Central Lampung, Metro and West Lampung, but are still relatively small scale. A number of restaurants in Bandarlampung also serve mushroom-based dishes, but are not as popular among Lampung residents despite the high nutritional value and profits from mushroom cultivation.

“Mushroom culrivators in Lampung generally still operate on a very small scale and are not well integrated. Governor Sjachroedin Z.P. gave us the task to further develop the industry and integrate it into a creative community-based economic system so mushrooms become a high-value commodity and improve the welfare of farmers,” Suryono S.W., the governors expert aide, said.

Suryono said the Lampung provincial administration had sentdozens of Lampung residents and experts to take part in a mushroom cultivation training program at the Volva Indonesia mushroom farm in Yogyakarta. The participants include mushroom farmers, sellers, mushroom satay sellers, entrepreneurs, restaurant managers, chefs and facilitators.

“The trainees have been engaged in mushroom cultivation training since early January this year. They are ready to serve as the main support team for the mushroom production center in Batuputu, Bandarlampung, and become partners in mushroom cultivation development. They are also ready to establish a co-op to develop Volva Indonesia mushroom seedlings in Lampung.” Sjachroedin, who spoke highly of soup and satay using mushrooms produced by Lampung farmers, said he would continue to help farmers with their goals. (The Jakarta Post)


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