Ukraine used to have two biggest suppliers of substrate for oyster mushrooms – “Druids” LLC and LLC “Eco- Grib”.
In February 2022, “Druids” LLC from Kryvyi Rih, one of those two, has stopped. With the beginning of the war, the company threw away the substrate that was in the process of production, and the resumption of the plant in the near future is unlikely, said to UMDIS agency the plant director Alexander Uryasiev.
Alexander says that there are big problems with the availability of raw materials, including straw, logistics have become much more expensive, there is a lack of staff and working capital. In addition, a significant part of the plant’s customers, mainly in the east and south of Ukraine, stopped working. Therefore, the company has no plans to resume operations today.
This week largest supplier of substrate for growing oyster mushrooms in Ukraine – LLC “Eco- Grib”, located in the Kirovograd region, informed its customers it stopes operation. The company said that the continuation of work requires impossible for now investments. Some customers tell UMDIS agency they will be able to persuade the company to continue operating, however the situation may be not so easy.
“We are still harvesting oysters, but there is no confidence in the future supply of the substrate,” said Oleksandr Tymoshenko, an oyster mushroom grower from the Kyiv region. For many years, Alexander built a network of oyster mushroom production and supply, which included both his own farm and a large number of other farms. Today, according to Alexander, most of these farms have closed, and to this may be added the problem of lack of raw materials.
The two mentioned substrate enterprises provided the majority of oyster mushroom substrate for Ukrainian producers. Therefore, the cessation of work of one and the possible cessation of work of another jeopardize the work of most of the farms for growing oyster mushrooms. And it will not be easy to find a replacement for them.
“Eco-Spor” LLC from Zaporizhia promises to partially solve the problem. The company produces oyster mushroom substrate for its own needs and is considering production for sale. Victor Chernobayev, director of production, says that he can provide up to 35 tons of oyster mushroom substrate per week, and with sufficient demand to increase capacity to 50 tons per week. The company is going to offer on the market the incubated substrate. However, that cannot solve the problem completely.