What’s next for wounded soldiers? It could be mushroom farming

Published April 21, 2021, 2:16 PM

by Betheena Unite

Here’s something that could give wounded soldiers a new lease on life in the event that their injuries force them to return to society as civilians.

(Photographer: Nana Buxani / Bloomberg / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) and the Wounded Soldiers Agriculture Cooperative (WSAC) have forged a partnership that would provide such soldiers with a new form of livelihood through mushroom farming.

As the chosen beneficiaries, soldiers–specifically those deemed no longer fit for combat due to their injuries–will be given mushroom technology lectures and hands-on training  upon returning to civilian life, the agriculture agency said.

A mushroom entrepreneurial technology park will be established in Sitio Paliko in Barangay Biliran, Nasugbu, Batangas for this purpose.

“The indoor cultivation and production of volvariella (a mushroom specie)…can be adapted by other mushroom growers. This technology will utilize bulk of rice straw which will be another opportunity for rice farmers in the municipality,” the DA-BAI said.

According to Mary Ann B. Guerrero, chief of BPI-Crop Research and Production Support Division (CRPSD), the mushroom hub will include a mushroom laboratory, growing house, composting shed, as well as a processing and packaging building.

It will serve as a learning and business hub of mushroom production as well as a community model in food production in general. This could help develop entrepreneurial activities in the community.

Mushroom growers in the area may also bring their produce to the mushroom hub.

First Lieutenant Jerome J. Jacuba, WSAC chair, said that as a battle casualty himself, he expects the hub to contribute to the rehabilitation and income of his fellow soldiers.

It was learned that LtC Angel delos Santos, commanding officer of 514th Engineering Battalion, will provide five hectares of land to the cooperative.