Given that compost for growing oyster mushrooms was not produced in Romania and had to be imported, a group of farmers used EAFRD to build a plant for producing compost using their own wheat straw.
A group of farmers at Nanesti in Vrancea County, Eastern Romania, identified a new market opportunity which they exploited with the use of EAFRD support. Demand of oyster mushrooms is on the rise, however, the necessary compost for their production was not produced locally. It had to be imported from abroad at significant cost. To cover this market gap they decided to form a cooperative and use RDP funding to build a compost plant to produce compost for growing oyster mushrooms. The plant would use their own processed wheat straw. The support received helped them buy the necessary equipment and machinery, hire and train their staff, set up a pilot farm for testing the quality of the compost produced and acquire quality certification.
COMPOSTAR has 32 members and affiliates and the business is blooming.
26 full-time employees were hired and trained at the pilot farm.
The price of locally produced compost is 30% lower than the imported compost.
This business model is very advantageous for mushrooms producers. Farms buy compost from cooperative and sell them back mushrooms. In addition, producers receive support and guidance from the cooperative to achieve the best production.
Members of COMPOSTAR are underway to set up a network of mushroom producers nationwide, which will be in charge of collecting, sorting and distributing mushrooms at local and Regional level.