For a state to have rapid growth and development there is the need for its economy to be diversified.Statistics have shown that most Nigerian states that have staggering debts and experiencing low growth and development are those that have totally relied on oil and gas revenue from the federation account.
In Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki has demonstrated his commitment to the growth of the economy through various programmes and incentives for businesses.
In line with the words of Fujio Mitarai, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canon Incorporation, “Diversification and globalization are the keys to the future”.
Also, Arancha Gonzalez, rightly noted that in the pursuit of growth and diversification, African economies should consider transforming the discourse from a focus on industrialization to a broader one, centered on value addition in agriculture, manufacturing and services.
Investment in agriculture is now one sure way of boosting revenue instead of the unsteady dependence on oil and gas.
The Obaseki administration has figured out that there is a high return on investments in mushroom farming, which is still alien to some African countries.
Countries like India, Japan and Poland have leveraged this aspect of agriculture and have carved out for their people a market niche.
In the United States of America for instance, mushrooms are a part of the recipes for popular cuisines.
As a way of diversifying the state’s economy, the Governor is collaborating with farmers in the provision of farmlands as well as mushroom spawn to kick-start the mushroom farming business.
The demand for mushrooms in the Nigerian market is gradually on the increase as people are beginning to discover the essential value of mushrooms with recommendations from nutritionists and doctors.
The demand has become higher as restaurants now place orders for them for local and international cuisines, for household use and for pharmaceutical industries.
Scientists have now also developed a new kind of leather manufactured from mushrooms, with the same features as genuine leather.
The production of mushroom leather is cost-effective too.
Leather produced from mushrooms is of great quality and could be used to produce shoes, bags, belts etc.