Mushroom farming can be a profitable business to invest in. Mainly white button and brown mushrooms are grown in the country. Mushrooms are needed for their nutritious and medicinal purposes plus they can be used as a meat substitute. Also, after being harvested mushroom substrate can be used as organic fertiliser because it adds organic matter to the soil. There is a high profit potential when it comes to mushroom farming. South Africa produces about 21 000 tonnes of this fleshy body of fungi and exports to countries such as Namibia and Mauritius. Half of mushroom producers are in Gauteng and the rest are in Western Cape and Kwazulu Natal. The country also generates an estimated R940 million per year growing mushrooms and this industry has been growing at a steady rate over the past years. If you are interested in farming, consider growing mushrooms. This article is about how you successfully start a mushroom farming business in South Africa.

There are important decisions you need to make before you start your button mushroom farming business.  You need to decide on the size of your production business, that is the number of hectares you will make use of, your target market and your operational plan. The amount of button mushrooms you will produce will depend on the size of your land as well as the amount of capital you have. It’s important that you have a well-researched button farming business plan before you venture into this business.

Land For Button Mushroom Farming Business

Land is essential for growing mushrooms. However, mushrooms are grown in houses under controlled conditions. You need to ensure that the conditions for growing your mushrooms are conducive at every stage. The temperature needs to be controlled, you need to set the right level of humidity, as well as the light and airflow.  In addition, the land for mushroom production needs to have the suitable substrate since mushrooms are grown on all sorts of substrates like straw, wood, or grass. However, keep in mind that not all substrates are suitable for mushroom production.

Machinery & Equipment For Onion Farming Business

Setting up a proper mushroom farm will enable you to successfully run your operations. You need to set up an incubation house and other mushroom houses. Your rooms must take ventilation, humidity, temperature, and light, into account while buildings and equipment need to be adapted for use and accessibility. Inoculation and harvest rooms need to be set up, as well as refrigeration for harvested mushrooms. Other tools that are required include bottles, filler caps, trays, and steam boilers to name a few. Your business plan should outline all the relevant equipment and tools as well as the costs associated with building the rooms and purchasing the equipment. In addition to the equipment and tools you need the chemicals to apply to the substrate for spawn treatment and pesticides for your mushrooms.

Labour For Mushroom Farming Business

In order to successfully run a profitable mushroom farm, you need to employ the right people. It is best to hire workers who already have experience in this kind of business. You may require supervisors, farm managers, finance & accounting staff, and logistics personnel depending on the scale of your mushroom farming business. Also, mushroom farming is labour intensive so your workers should be well equipped, if not extensive training is necessary. Your business plan should have a clear operational plan that takes the number of people you will employ into account. Their duties and responsibilities together with all the costs involved should be included in your mushroom farming business plan.


There is a huge market when it comes to mushrooms in South Africa and the rest of the world.  The commercial production and distributions of button mushroom as well as other types of mushrooms has increased significantly. The increasing demand in healthy food that is low in fat and cholesterol content has increased the demand for mushrooms as well. Also, the growing middle class population in South Africa has increased the demand for button mushrooms. There is a huge local and international market for mushrooms. In addition, the demand for button mushrooms has been driven by the hospitality sector. Hotels, restaurants, cafeterias together with an increase in the vegan population has increased the demand for all kinds of edible mushrooms. The potential to make decent profit in mushroom farming is very high. However, you should conduct a market analysis and a feasibility study before you venture into this type of business.

Is Button Mushroom Farming A Good Investment?

Button Mushroom farming can be a risky business plus it is labour intensive. The edible fungi, however,  can be grown successfully and yield a profitable return. Knowledge of mushrooms is important in order for you to run a profitable farm. Also, the marketing of your produce is essential in order to find buyers. Button mushrooms are the most widely consumed mushroom type in South Africa and all over the world. The demand for this type of mushroom is expected to grow in the coming years so starting a button farming business is worth considering. The South African market is one of the leading emerging economies on the African continent so there is potential for high growth in this type of business. The demand for healthier food options will continue to increase and drive the demand for button farming.

A Button Farming Business Plan

Many entrepreneurs underestimate the importance of a business plan but in order to successfully set up a profitable business you need to develop a business plan. A business plan helps you develop your strategy as well as the steps you need to take in order for you to run an viable business. Thus, a business plan is essential. Apart from helping obtain funding a business plan also helps you determine whether or not an idea is practical. Planning your operations, marketing plan and financial plan forces you to be disciplined in your thinking since a great idea is not good  enough without a business plan.