By Bashariah Zainuddin
KOTA BHARU, July 11 (Bernama) -- The failure to secure a position of a lecturer and research assistant at a local university, did not dampen the spirit of a graduate with a master’s degree in medical microbiology from Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) to develop a tissue culture laboratory for mushrooms.
In fact, due to her hard work and persistence, Nurul Adani Sanusi, 29, from Kampung Kubang Kacang, Tiong near here was appointed as a supplier of seeds and mushroom blocks to other mushroom entrepreneurs in Kelantan and Terengganu through Koperasi Usahawan Cendawan Kelantan Berhad (KOKULAC).
A check by Bernama at Nurul Adani’s lab here saw her determination in making mushroom as a crop that could bring lucrative profit to its entrepreneurs.
Sharing her experience on how she became involved in the mushroom business, Nurul Adani said it started when she was attending the mushroom cultivation course with KOKULAC in a mushrooms seed laboratory in Kubang Kerian.
She added that during a familiarisation session with the facilitator, Hasmi Hassan, who was also the KOKULAC chairman, had invited her to open a laboratory to produce gray oyster mushroom seeds since she had a biomedical background.
“I welcomed their suggestion to develop tissue culture for the gray oyster mushroom to be used as seeds and followed by a course for seeds making.
“Every time I came home after the course, I would discuss with my family before making a decision in trying to plant oyster mushrooms,” she added.
For a start, about 500 mushroom blocks were bought and made the lower part of the house as the early test site.
“I saw a light at the end of the tunnel if I continued with my efforts in this field although it was a different field from what I had learnt and my experience in managing a medical lab provided me an advantage to seize the opportunity,” she said.
On the tissue cultured mushroom laboratory, Nurul Adani said her mother, Noreha Abdul Majid, 56, gave the capital of RM10,000 to set up a 10x10 metre lab, and also purchased equipment such as an airtight table to avoid environmental pollution in order to protect the mushrooms from being attacked by microorganisms and fungi.
Commenting further, she said the cultivated tissue on the plate would take two weeks before it could be transferred to seed mediums such as corn and wheat.
She added the cultured tissue would be sold to the buyers directly from the plate or through mediums based on demand, but usually, suppliers were more interested to buy the seeds that had been transferred to the medium due to its cheaper price and higher quantity.
According to Nurul Adani, she sold seeds in the plate at a price of RM30 each, and all the sown seeds in her lab received tremendous response from her customers.