Mushroom Research in Nepal: Industry, Prospects and Challenges

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Mushrooms, a unique type of organism, belong to their own biological kingdom, Fungi, and are distinct from both plants and animals. While there are an estimated millions of fungal species in the world, around 14,000 have been described, and they produce fruiting bodies that are large enough to be recognized as mushrooms. Out of these, approximately 7,000 are considered edible to varying degrees, and around 200 species have been successfully cultivated in laboratory settings. Among these, 60 species show potential for large-scale commercial cultivation, but currently, only about 10 species are farmed industrially in various countries.

Mushroom Research in Nepal - Market

Nepal, a country with rich biodiversity, is home to numerous mushroom species. However, due to limited scientific exploration, only 1,150 mushroom species have been documented in Nepal so far. Among these, 147 are edible, 100 are poisonous, and 73 possess medicinal properties, highlighting the diverse uses and significance of mushrooms in the region. This article will dive into the world of mushrooms, their cultivation, and the specific context of Nepal’s mushroom diversity. One of the leading institutions in mushroom research in Nepal is the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC). NARC has a long history of research on mushrooms and has made significant contributions to our understanding of the country’s mycological diversity. [1]


Mushroom Farming Structure in Nepal

Mushroom Research in Nepal - Farm

The practice of artificial mushroom farming commenced in 1974, primarily focusing on button mushrooms. Despite Nepal’s favorable agro-climatic conditions and abundant agricultural and forestry waste substrates, only a limited number of mushroom species are commercially grown today, with White button and Oyster mushrooms being the most common in local markets. Shiitake and Milky mushrooms are also cultivated on a commercial scale. Oyster mushrooms dominate production, accounting for 86% of the total, followed by white button (10%) and Shiitake (2%). The mushroom industry in Nepal is primarily composed of small-scale producers, with approximately 2,750 rural households engaged in mushroom production. However, challenges such as trade deficits and increasing demands from supermarkets for high-quality products have placed pressure on the supply chain. Establishing modern mushroom farms requires substantial investments, including advanced technology, high-quality compost, improved cultivation practices, and efficient cooling chain systems.


Mushroom Research in Nepal - Market



Mushroom Researches in Nepal

First Mushroom Research in Nepal

The Division of Plant Pathology, Department of Agriculture, His Majesty’s Government of Nepal, established Mushroom Cultivation. Miss Bunu Devi Pandey, M.Sc. Botany, began the initial work under Mr. Moin Shah, Head of the Division, in 1974. The unit started cultivation and research on white button mushrooms. Dr. Keshari Laxmi Manandhar held the responsibility of incharge of the mushroom unit after Bunu Devi Pandey’s resignation. [Learn more]

Wild Mushroom Research

Wild mushrooms in Nepal are classified into 108 families, 357 genera, and 1291 species (Ascomycota 165 species and Basidiomycota 1126 species), with 34 endemic species. There are 159 edible mushrooms, 74 medicinal mushrooms, and 100 deadly mushrooms among them. [3]

Twenty-nine mushrooms taken in Nepal’s hilly areas were tested for antioxidant activity using a variety of methodologies, including the Folin-Ciocalteu, ORAC, ABTS, and DPPH assays. HaCaT cells were also tested for intracellular H2O2-scavenging capability. The findings revealed that phenolic compounds are the primary antioxidants in mushrooms. The materials and methods of this research were:

Mushroom Collection and Identification
Mushroom Extract Preparation
Phenolic Content Determination
Free Radical Scavenging 
Detection of Intracellular UVB-Induced H2O2

Cordyceps Militaris Research

Cordyceps militaris is a species of Cordyceps that is classified in the Cordycipitaceae family and is well known in East Asia as a traditional medicinal mushroom. Its artificial fruit body has been widely cultivated for commercial use in cosmetics, functional food, and medicine. The materials and methods of this research were:

Fruit body formation and developmental stages of C. militaris
Extraction and preparation for comprehensive metaboliteanalysis
GC-MS spectrometry analysis
Mass spectral data processing and biochemical identification
Data analysis and multivariate statistical analysis



Role of Mushroom Seed Nepal and Research Center in Nepal’s Mushroom Research and Industry

Mushroom Seed Nepal and Research Center was established in 2071, under the direction of Mr. Akash Bade. Since 2071, this organization has been contributing to mushroom industry in Nepal. The following points shows the roles and contributions of this organization in the field of Mushroom Industry:

Goals and Objectives

  • a) Carry out the research by developing a unique approach that focuses on spawn quality and high yield.
  • b) Prepare Shiitake mushroom soup and introduce it after conducting research and receiving the food department’s approval.
  • c) Start launching Reishi mushroom products by combining tea, coffee, and cocoa powder with Reishi mushroom powder.
  • d) Get ready to triple Shiitake spawn production as per a high demand.
  • e) Enhance the research on various mushrooms, including, Cordyceps militaris, Isaria cicadaeMorchella esculenta, Flammulina velutipes, and Psilocybe cubensis by establishing various effective strategies.
  • f) Meet the rising demand, we offer our consumers a great opportunity to purchase high-quality mushroom spawn and mushrooms at wholesale prices.
  • g) Fulfill customers’ satisfaction, we have assembled a team of diligent professionals who are skilled at meeting buyers’ particular requirements.
  • h) Improve the production of mushroom spawn and cultivation of mushrooms in Nepal by conducting various research.

Research and Development

  • a) Creation of new hybrid mushrooms using various mushroom cultures (Development of Oyster, Shiitake, and Button mushroom hybrid)
  • b) Development of spawn production from a pure culture of Nepali origin Oyster mushroom
  • c) Collection, production of pure culture, and commercial cultivation of Morel mushroom and Magic mushroom
  • d) Research on Reishi mushroom and its various products
  • e) Successful Production and Research on Turkey Tail Mushroom


Mushroom Research in Nepal - Turkey Tail Mushroom
Successful research on Turkey Tail Mushroom for the first time in Nepal

Training, Counselling and Educational Visits

Mushroom Research in Nepal - Training
Shiitake Mushroom Training
Mushroom Research in Nepal - Training
Oyster Mushroom Training

Due to insufficient mushroom courses in school and university curriculum, Mushroom Seed Nepal and Research Center has been proving educational visits to different schools. So it helps in fulfilling the gap in curriculum and provide practical knowledge to students. Some testimonial videos of educational visits are given in the following playlist:

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Mushroom Seed Nepal and Research Center has been providing different training programs, counselling services and field visits to all kinds of farmers, entrepreneurs and students. It directly helps in providing practical based skills and promote the field of mushrooms. The training and field visits provided by Mushroom Seed Nepal include the following packages:

a) Provide practical knowledge to students
b) Promote the advantages of Mushrooms
c) Help entrepreneurs and farmers
d) Provide training on various mushrooms
e) Solve all the problems and doubts of students and farmers
f) Help to provide seeds easily at cheap price.


Major Challenges & Solutions of Mushroom Industry in Nepal

A number of problems and obstacles are impeding Nepal’s mushroom industry’s growth. These are a few of the more significant problems and difficulties among them:

1. Issues and Challenges

  • a) Lack of latest improved technology.
  • b) Insufficient investment and inadequate scientific research on mushrooms.
  • c) Poor quality of spawn.
  • d) Poor farm management practices/diseases & pest attack.
  • e) Lack of promotion and marketing activities.
  • f) Lack of appropriate mushroom policies and laws

2. Solutions

  • a) Develop or import the appropriate technology based on local needs and
    agro-climatic conditions.
  • b) Establish mushroom culture center and technological intervention of spawn
    c) production centers.
  • d) Improving growers knowledge and skill on farm sanitation and integrated
    disease & pest management.
  • e) Popularizing mushrooms using ICT, on mass media like TV, Radio, also ads.
    and posters, mushroom festival.
  • f) Joining national and international trade fairs



The mushroom production, consumption and research are rising in Nepal and appears to be a desirable and interesting choice. Additionally, cultivation may play a significant role in sustainable both forestry and agriculture. The protein-dense wonder food: mushroom deserves more attention by the farmers and agriculturists. Mushrooms are one such component that not only utilizes vertical space but also aids in the resolution of concerns such as food quality, health, and environmental sustainability.
To fulfill the shifting food needs, it is necessary to expand both mushroom production and consumption. As a result, the mushroom industry has enormous potential to contribute considerably to the nation’s socioeconomic change.



Main Source: Mushroom industry in Nepal by J.K Raut
[1] NAARC (Nepal Agricultural Research Council)
[2] Hand Book of Mushroom Cultivation in Nepal by Dr. Keshari Laxmi Manandhar
[3] Wild Mushrooms of Nepal – Chapter by Shiva Devkota and Hari Prasad Aryal.
[4] Wild Mushroom Research by Mahesh Kumar Adhikari, Hải Bằng Trần, Hiroto Suhara, Katsumi Doi, Yoshinori Katakura, Hira Kaji Manandhar, Kuniyoshi Shimizu.
[5] Cordyceps militaris Research by Bhusan Shrestha, Gi-Ho Sung, Junsang Oh, Deok Hyo Yoon, Hyung-Kyoon Choi.