According to the All-Ireland and UK Mushroom Conference and Trade Show: The mushroom industry in Ireland is acknowledged as one of the best in the world. According to Teagasc, it is the largest horticultural sector in Ireland with a farm gate value of €112m and 75 per cent is exported to the UK. It employs more than 3,200 people and Teagasc says it has great potential for a further 300 jobs in production and distribution, and another 100 in added-value developments.

According to the Teagasc Mushroom Stakeholder Consultative Group, the success of the mushroom industry is largely attributed to the entrepreneurial spirit of the key stakeholders including marketeers, growers, compost suppliers, the producer organisation Commercial Mushroom Producers (CMP), with the support of state bodies such as Teagasc, Bord Bia, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

It notes that current mushroom productivity in Ireland is in the region of 30kg mushrooms/m2 of crop area. “Stakeholders suggested that it was possible to increase this to 35 kg/m2 on average but the leading 10 per cent of growers must target yields close to 38 kg/m2 where conditions are favourable,” the report outlines.

In its roadmap, Teagasc has set out an aim to improve mushroom production to 35 kg/m2 by 2020 from current 30 kg/m2 and it says research and development is key to this being achieved.

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