Current projects and funding
1. Edible and Medicinal Mushroom Farming in North Carolina:
A Cash Crop for the Future
Grant Amount: $75,000.00
Following the problems in the tobacco industry in NC, there is active search for alternatives to tobacco farming, a major cash crop in NC. Edible and medicinal mushroom farming was considered as one possible alternative to tobacco farming by the GoldenLEAF Foundation . North Carolina has the climate and conditions suitable for cultivation of many edible and medicinal mushrooms that are consumed in the US today. The location of NC within the Mid-Atlantic States can allow it to easily penetrate the growing mushroom market in the region and nationally. Growers would be the small, marginal farmers who depend on farming to supplement the families' income. This grant was awarded by the GoldenLEAF Foundation to Dr. Isikhuemhen of NC A&T and his collaborators to enable them conduct further research on mushroom production techniques, work with farmers to undertake field testing, provide marketing studies, and develop a marketing campaign. The goal is to make North Carolina a leader in the production of edible and medicinal mushrooms over the next five years. Based on present market values, the exotic mushroom market in ten years could be generating as much as $80 million annually in NC.
2. Edible and Medicinal Mushroom Farming by rural
low income resource farmers in North Carolina
Grant Amount: $15,000.00
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service s (NCDA & CS) awarded $15,000.00 grant to NC A&T to enable Mushroom Biology & Fungal Biotechnology Laboratory (MBFBL) to work with rural low income resource farmers in growing edible and medicinal mushrooms.
5. Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
Grant Amount: $25,000
Zeith Smith Reynolds Foundation has awarded $25,000.00 grant to NC A&T to enable Mushroom Biology & Fungal Biotechnology Laboratory (MBFBL) under take outreach activities to farmers who are rural low income resource farmers that are interested in growing edible and medicinal mushrooms as an alternative crop.
3.Anti-tumor and immune stimulatory effects of edible and medicinal mushrooms.
Mushrooms have been used for food and medicine since time immemorial. Mushroom extracts, powder, tablets and capsules are widely sold as nutritional supplements and many people are buying and using them for acclaimed health benefits. In USA, relatively few critical researches have been done to ascertain such acclaimed medicinal properties and or corroborate some scientific reports from Asian countries. We have put together a team of researchers that is looking into the food safety aspects of mushroom consumption, anticancer properties and immune stimulatory effects. We also want to characterize compounds from mushroom extracts that may be acting alone or synergistically to produce beneficial effects. In this group we have Dr. Ipek Goktepe , Dr. J. V. Kumar , Dr. M. Ahmedna, Dr. V. Shirley and Dr. Omon. S. Isikhuemhen. Dr. Kumar received grants form the School of Arts and Sciences (NC A&T) to work with Dr. Goktepe and Dr. Isikhuemhen and conduct preliminary studies along this line of research in order to generate preliminary date that can be used to support funding requests from NIH.
4. Edible and Medicinal Mushroom Farming in North Carolina:
A Cash Crop for the Future
Grant Amount: $355,000
The purpose of this Golden LEAF grant is to provide a second year of funding to support the expansion of mushroom farming in North Carolina. Funds are to be used to expand the network of farmers engaged in commercial-scale mushroom production, establish mass production in a controlled environment, and develop the industrial processing of mushrooms to obtain beta-glucans for pharmaceutical use, and create over-the-counter retail and functional food applications.