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J&K to implement Rs 42 cr project on promotion of mushroom cultivation

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Thursday, January 5, 2023

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Srinagar, Jan 04: The Jammu and Kashmir Agriculture Production Department will be implementing a full-fledged project on “Promotion of Round the Year Mushroom Cultivation” at a cost of around Rs 42 crore over the next three years, officials said.
Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo said agricultural diversification is the key to reduce risk in farming activities.
He said mushroom cultivation is one important tool in not only enhancing agricultural income of the farming community but also securing it against changes in climate and soil resources.
“With this in mind we will be implementing a full-fledged project on ‘Promotion of Round the Year Mushroom Cultivation’. The project to be implemented at a cost of around Rs 42 crore over the next three years by the Agriculture Production Department, J&K,” he said.
Dullo said the move will increase the production of mushrooms by 3.5 times and employment generation by 3 times. “As many as 768 new enterprises are also being created in the process to ensure sustainability of the interventions,” he said.
Mushroom production creates a significant amount of direct and indirect employment opportunities in the fields of cultivation and marketing, as well as providing opportunities for processing businesses and labor-intensive management.
“Mushroom farming requires little capital, little technical expertise, and it is even possible to grow mushrooms indoors on a small scale and easily earn a high return on investment,” Dullo said.
He further said women can grow mushrooms in their homes with little investment. As a result, mushroom farming not only gives rural women more power but also fights poverty at its source.
“The promotion of mushroom cultivation is one among the 29 projects, which were approved by J&K administration after being recommended by the UT Level Apex Committee for holistic development of Agriculture and Allied Sectors in J&K,” he said.
Mushroom is an important cottage industry in rural areas which leads to economic betterment of small and marginal farmers, landless laborers, and women.
“Being a cash crop it is a good means of generating employment opportunities for youth of the UT. Lack of availability of pasteurized compost & unorganized market were the major constraints in mushroom production and this project is going to address them in a significant way,” Dulloo said.
Under the project 26 pasteurized compost-making units, 10 spawn production labs and 72 controlled conditioned cropping rooms (2000 bags capacity), will be established in span of three years.
For the promotion of mushroom cultivation in non-traditional areas subsidized 1.5 lakh pasteurized compost bags will be distributed among mushroom growers.
He said that women empowerment through the establishment of 300 Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs) will be undertaken.
“The project also focuses on value addition of the perishable commodity through creation of four canning units and distribution of 60 solar dryers among mushroom growers,” he said.
In addition to this, an amount of Rs 2.1 Cr has been earmarked for research and development.
“Under this emphasis will be laid on promotion of medicinal mushrooms and introduction of new strains of mushrooms with specific emphasis on standardization of locally available substrates and documentation of conditions for their optimal growth,” he said.
Duloo said all in all, the mushroom sector in J&K is about to witness a resurgence in the form of unprecedented institutional and capital support which will boost production, productivity as well as export of mushrooms from the UT.

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