The Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) has received a large grant from Yayasan Sabah to develop mushroom and ginger products. Deputy vice chancellor (research and innovation) prof dr Ramzah Dambul said the project is a strategic initiative for the socio-economic sector and to change the bio-agro landscape in Sabah.
The size of the global mushroom market stands at US$ 46.1 billion (2020), with an annual growth of 9.5 per cent.
Dr Dambul: "Malaysia's own mushroom imports have reached RM18 million a year based on data from 2012, which is a thriving industry. However, there was no proper structured research-driven initiatives to develop a mushroom sector based on unique local species and climate resistance. This is the gap that UMS is trying to address.”
Ramzah said so far the UMS research team led by Dr Jaya Seelan Sathiya managed to identify about 1,250 species of Bornean wild mushrooms.
"Of the total, 45 per cent of the mushrooms have pharmaceutical value, of which 18 species have already completed fundamental studies. The other 25 per cent are in the edible category, five species are in the domestication stage to be introduced into the agro industry. This includes Sabah shiitake, a native species to the state that has a premium potential equivalent to Japanese shiitake," he told nst.com.my.