Friday, 18 May 2012

In Bihar village, mushroom farming offers women socio-economic freedom

Scores of women from Anantpur village in Bihar's Nalanda district, home to chief minister Nitish Kumar's, have taken to mushroom farming in a big way as a means for their socio-economic emancipation and district authorities were working overtime to provide market linkages.
As many as 700 women in groups of 50 each are involved in growing mushrooms and are taking other women under their wings.
"We are set to revolutionize mushroom farming at Anantpur and spread it to the entire district as a means to our socio-economic empowerment," Rita Devi, who was trained in mushroom farming at GB Pant Agriculture University in Uttarakhand, said.
A number of self-help groups and farmers help groups have also come forward with various incentives to enable village women to take up mushroom farming as livelihood, she said.
The enthusiasm among the women has led them to even pen a folk song outlining economic value of the vegetable produce, its natural ingredients and various delicacies made from it, she said.
Mushroom farming has great potential across the state due to congenial weather condition and the women farmers need government help to market the vegetable, she added.
The state government in turn is considering setting up a mushroom seed production unit in the district and looking for suitable produce markets, agriculture production commissioner AK Sinha said.
Nalanda district magistrate Sanjay Agrawal said the district administration will help women farmers in cultivating mushroom for commercial use and make arrangements for marketing it in the markets in Patna to ensure that the growers earned a decent profit.
Bulk supply of mushrooms in boarding schools and colleges as well as through the outlets of dairies could be worked out, he added.

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