The Taiwanese Council of Agriculture has announced the development of a new composting technology capable of boosting mushroom production by 20 to 30 per cent, increasing revenues and reducing air pollution, according to a report by Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA).
The indoor tunnel composting method turns agricultural waste such as rice straw and bagasse into compost, Tsai Jyh-rong, the secretary-general of the council's Taiwan Agriculture Research Institute, told CNA.
This process will allow local farmers to avoid burning their waste straw, which Tsai Jyh-rong estimates comprises 1.3m tonnes annually.
In addition to rice straw and bagasse, the institute is also working on turning waste paper pulp into compost. This has been successfully achieved to aid the growing of white, blewit, shaggy, Brazil and oyster mushrooms.
Assistant researcher at the institute, Chen Jin-tong, told CNA the new composting method halves the time and manpower needed to make quality compost, which will improve product competitiveness.
Taiwan produces 140,000 tonnes of mushrooms annually, generating revenue of NT$8.8bn (US$294.64m).