Two students at the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering in Sulaymaniyah northern province succeeded in producing a type of mushroom called the oyster mushroom, as part of an experiment aimed at establishing a project of their own.
Banaz Ahmed and Susan Ahmed launched the project on December 10, 2022, and within 35 days, the mushroom matured and later was sold for eating at the local market.
Banaz Ahmed, a third-year student, says, "In the beginning, we gathered information about how mushrooms are produced. We planned the project and thought of trying it and at the same time having a project of our own."
“What matters is that we felt happy that the test was a success, and now we have the same feeling that the project was a success,” Ahmed added.
What matters is that we felt happy that the test was a success
Suspension of nylon filled with hay, some compost, and mushroom spores is one of the most important stages of the project, in addition to keeping it in a damp place at an appropriate temperature since it requires good care, both students confirmed.
Susan, a student in the Department of Animal Resources at the same college, says, "What motivated us to establish our own project was the college in which we study, and what helped us achieve success was our plan that we put together, because we were eager to have a project of our own."
According to the two students, this is the first time that a mushroom-producing project has been opened in the Garmian region.
Kifri, home to over 50,000 people, is one of the districts located within the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil, under the Iraqi constitution, and part of Diyala province run by the Iraqi government, while administratively is one of the districts of the Garmian administration.
Garmian local administration which includes several districts and sub-districts between Sulaymaniyah and Diyala province is part of Sulaymaniyah Northern Province, one of the provinces of Kurdistan Region of Iraq KRI under the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG.
Susan and Banaz are not from the Kifri district, but rather live in the university dormitory. They were thrilled that the project helps them secure tuition fees, but their dreams for post-graduation are bigger.
In the middle of last month, they put their production of the oyster mushrooms on the market and sold one kilogram of it for seven thousand Iraqi dinars IQD (5USD), and they are now waiting for the second batch to grow.
"The mushroom produced was amazing and abundant, and the demand for it was great, which made us happy," Susan enthusiastically told KirkukNow.
The mushroom produced was amazing and abundant
Banaz says, "At first, I was afraid that the mushroom production project would fail because of the high temperatures, but we produced the best types of mushrooms."
These two girls decided to expand the project next year and bring other colleaguess into the project.
"Our problem now is that expansion demands funding and we do not have the money to expand the project because it requires a lot of equipment and supplies, so we will not be able to expand it now," Banaz continued.
"In general, the current revenues from the mushrooms that we produce are important to secure our study expenses... I want to establish a similar project at home."