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HZAU Helps Build a Strong Edible Mushroom Industry in Suixian County

March 6 to March 8 is a critical period for spring management of edible mushrooms. Bian Yinbing, professor of HZAU, and Hu Zhengmei, deputy director of the Vegetable Office of Hubei Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, had guided the edible mushroom industry on the site to resume production after the ice and snow disasters, providing enterprises and mushroom growers with policy guidance and technical assistance. Bian and Hu are both the chief experts of the “515” Action Plan, initiated by Hubei Province to advance agricultural development with the wisdom of academicians and professors.

Hubei Mushrooms Exported Globally

China is a large consumer and exporter of edible mushrooms. Its total output of edible mushrooms accounts for more than 75% of the world’s total. The proportion of mushroom output value is second only to grains, oil, fruit and vegetables in the agricultural planting industry, ranking No. 5, and the edible mushrooms industry has become one of the most important driving forces for rural economic development.

Hubei Province is a major producer of edible mushrooms and shiitake and has a decided advantage in export. Currently, Hubei grows 25 varieties of edible mushrooms including shiitake mushrooms, morel mushrooms and wine cap stropharia, which are exported to 74 countries and regions around the world.

In Yichang Daziran Biotechnology Co., Ltd, a large number of mushroom sticks were well made and are ready for packing and shipping to South Korea. Zhou Huaxiong, general manager of the company, said that the company’s production line of canned edible mushrooms newly added can produce 5,000 tons of canned mushrooms annually, which means to earn foreign exchange of 50 million US dollars. Since the canned mushrooms have been put into production, the volume of overseas orders has surged. Sometimes the supply of mushrooms even fell short of demand.

Mushroom sticks are ready to be loaded for export.

At Suixian County, edible mushroom enterprises thrive, and mushroom cultivation is a common sight in courtyards there. Zhang Yongxiang, director of Agricultural and Rural Industry Development Service Center, explained that the success of growing shiitake mushrooms has sparked a booming industry. Suixian County has emerged as a vital hub for exporting shiitake nationwide, and its export volume has ranked first in Hubei for many years, which exceeded 600 million dollars in 2022.

Prof. Bian exchanges with enterprise executives on methods for drying.

Research Fuels the Success in the Home of Chinese Mushroom

In 1978, Pofessor Yang Xinmei succeeded in the experimental planting of basswood mushrooms in Yangjiaxing Village, Sanligang Town, marking the beginning of the mushroom industry there. Since then, three generations of HZAU researchers, including Lv Zuozhou and Bian Yinbing, have worked with local enterprises to carry out research in Suixian County for more than 40 years.

Founded by Yang, the Institute of Applied Mycology of HZAU has cooperated unceasingly with leading enterprises all over the country, selecting and cultivating batches of excellent varieties for demonstration and popularization in the main producing areas of edible mushrooms. Bian, the current director of the Institute, introduced that over the past 40 years, the Institute has trained more than 300 master’s and doctoral degree holders, and it also trained nearly 20,000 professionals for the edible mushrooms industry in Hubei and even nationwide.

Bian and Hu help farmers on the spring management of shiitake.

The Collaboration Between the Industry and HZAU

The edible mushroom industry has developed a new cooperation model, consisting of “national system scientists + provincial agrotechnology promotion teams + local authorities + business entities,” in which the industry scientists of China Agriculture Research System (CARS) serve as liaisons.

The Science and Technology Backyard of Edible Mushroom of HZAU

In 2023, HZAU established a science and technology backyard of edible mushrooms in cooperation with Hubei Changjiu Mushroom Co., Ltd. The team has been sending postgraduate students to carry out relevant research in the company, and cooperated in areas such as high-efficiency cultivation technology, selection and breeding of high-quality and disease-resistant varieties, and comprehensive disease prevention and control. HZAU and Suizhou Vocational & Technical College jointly established the Suizhou Mushroom School to train skilled professionals in the field of edible mushrooms, which will graduate over 200 professionals for the sustainable growth of the edible mushroom industry chain.

At the end of their visit, on the way driving from the County sat the statue of Prof. Yang, with family mushroom grow sheds scattering along the way. “You are one of the researchers of the fifth generation in the field of edible mushrooms at HZAU, and the future of edible mushrooms counts on you. The growth of the industry requires extensive efforts from several generations of researchers, and you should remember that ‘People will always remember what you have done for the achievement even if you are not the one who takes credit.’” Professor Bian told to his graduate students.


Translated by: Song Bowen

Proofread by: Chen Yuhan

Supervised by: Guo Haiyan