Friday, 18 May 2012

Mushroom Utpadan Kaise karen

Nalanda, once the vegetable hub of undivided Bihar and the home of world famous onion and potato, is trying to regain its lost shine. An MBA-topper son of the soil has taken upon himself the task of reaching garden-fresh vegetables to every home. And, the farmers have embarked upon a plan to reach its brand of vegetable each and every dining table. The district has gone a major industrial revamp with the mushroom-growing small industries flourishing at a rapid speed.
A few years back, landless and marginal farmers struggled to make both ends meet. But the scenario has undergone a metamorphosis. This time women have taken the lead. They have adopted mushroom farming as the trade, giving a tremendous boost to the woman empowerment. Renu Kumari of Anantpur village earns Rs 8,000 a month by mushroom farming. She was a daily-wage labourer but today she is not only a successful farmer but also a motivator for hundreds of other woman farmers, who have now taken up the trade in all seriousness.

mushroom display
Village woman proudly displaying her mushroom

Renu was initially taught the art and science of mushroom farming and marketing under a programme conducted by the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (Atma). She said: “After a visit to Ranchi, I came to know about mushroom farming at a workshop. My interest grew since then. In my village, I registered myself with the Atma and took training for growing mushroom. I invested a small amount of money and started growing mushrooms in my house. After a few days I was selling mushrooms at Rs 70 per kg”. “Today more than 300 women are engaged in this business after I motivated them to take this up. I never imagined that mushrooms can bring money and today many women are self dependent in this village”, said Renu.
On visiting the house of Rinku Kumari, a co-villager, it was revealed how the trade has mushroomed in a short span of time. One of the rooms of Rinku’s house was filled with mushrooms. Rinku said: “I am getting handsome returns from mushrooms and I have decided to grow this crop throughout the year”.
Many people in the villages of the Nalanda district said that the Bihar government should provide a bigger platform to sell their products. They said, the demand in local markets has reached a saturation point. Moreover, towns, like Patna or Delhi, are pregnant with opportunities. The markets outside the district’s bound can’t be explored without the government help, the villagers said.
The Nalanda district administration has taken some steps to market the product at the district-level. But that is not enough. Mushrooms will now be served in Navodaya Vidyalayas, Sainik schools, middle schools, jails and hospitals at least once a week.

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