Friday, 18 May 2012

A New Source Of Income For Farmers In Nagaland- Mushroom Farming in North East

Mushroom Development  Foundation (MDF) a non-  government organisation based in  Guwahati has given a new lease of  hope to farmers by promoting  mushroom cultivation as a new  source of income.
General secretary MDF Pranjal  Baruah was the resource person for  the workshop on mushroom production technologies at Old Showuba village council hall, Dimapur held on Wednesday.
During the workshop, Pranjal highlighted about the uses of mushroom as food, food supplement and fortification, medicine, industrial recycler, bio-pesticide, bio-fertilizer, bio-fuel, bio-cosmetic and others.
The cluster model of MDF and the strategy for community participation in economic development were the thematic areas covered in details.
Highlighting the prospect of mushroom cultivation, general secretary MDF said at minimum cost, maximum profit can be earned through minimum land and abundant availability of raw materials i.e. paddy straw. He also said market of mushroom has been growing at a fast rate and this trend would continue even in future.
“Mushrooms do not require land and can be grown cheaply on agriculture waste and can be used as a tool to organise a cluster of villages so the region could benefit from a cheap nutritious food as well as from its export”, Pranjal said.
He further said that MDF has developed 12 mushroom villages in four states of the northeast, including Assam and 20 more clusters are in the pipeline this year.
A website is also being designed where photographs of each of these farmers with their families and farms and details of villages can be accessed and the objective is to create an interface with these farmers through Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping and provide agri-technological inputs to them when required, he added.
He also informed that MDF provides mushroom seeds, developed in their laboratory for a better yield and also has a ‘facebook’ account which has up to date information on medicines made from mushroom.
It may be mentioned that in India, where 55 per cent of the households consume mushroom in their daily diet, the northeast region stands first with 60% of the total consumption.
Meanwhile, the workshop was attended by Old Showuba village women folk, student union members, VDB secretary, GBs, pastors, teachers, members from Western Women Organization, villagers from neighbouring villages and others.

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