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Kashmir’s "Mushroom King’ does marvels in landless farming
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Kashmir’s "Mushroom King’ does marvels in landless farming

Post by Noor Mohi-ud-din on Sunday, December 25, 2022

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Known as the mushroom king of north Kashmir, Gowhar Ali Lone, 27, a resident of Khoechipora, Tangmargleads in landless cultivation in the Baramulla district and produces two crops of mushrooms annually with a gross return of 5.5 lakh in addition to various other vegetables.
Gowhar, who is considered to be the most successful agripreneur  in Baramulla, runs a 500-tray mushroom operation out of a single room in his house.
"Each tray produces 2.50 kilograms while the selling price is rupees 200 per kg. Two crop yields are produced annually in Autumn and Spring seasons with total returns of 5 lakhs," Gowhar told Rising Kashmir. 
An official from the agriculture department said that mushroom  cultivation with two crop yields a year, has proved to be a promising business idea in the food industry in Baramulla. 
"Earlier people used to think that for any agricultural business unit, we need land but Gowhar is proving that wrong. With the support from the department he is doing wonders in mushroom cultivation," the official added. 
Gowhar has received recognition from the government of union territory as well as the central government. He has received six awards from UT administration and one national award to his name in the integrated farming 
The Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Dr. Sehrish Asgar, while recognising the endeavor, recently hailed the success of Gowhar Ali. 
"Gowhar Ali Lone from Tangmarg cultivates mushrooms from  500 tray units in his home in a single room. Each tray production is 2.50 kgs. Selling Price Rs 200 per kg. Two crops in a year-Autumn and Spring with total returns of ₹ 5 lakhs. Gross Returns Rs 5.50 lakhs," Dr. Syed Sehrish Asgar said. 
Gowhar told Rising Kashmir that he wrote his own success story in 2007, by growing mushrooms in a 20 by 40 foot space. 
The officials at Baramulla consider Gowhar as the most progressive farmer in north Kashmir dealing in mushroom cultivation, sheep farming, poultry and compost making. 
"In 2007, when I was in 8th standard my father suffered a stroke which led me to growing mushrooms in a 20 by 40 foot space using 70 trays. I received a respectable income from the 70 trays, which motivated me to expand the business. Right now I am using 500 trays in the same space," Gowhar said. 
According to Gowhar, earning  fame and getting financially  strong was not a cakewalk for him. 
"At a young age, I had to earn a living for my family. Problems were there but I didn't stop here but used my expertise in vertical farming by using 60 feet of my pavement at home for growing multiple varieties of vegetables in trays," he added 
His vertical farming is distinctive in that he has utilized the kitchen terrace exclusively for this purpose and has even grown a pear tree there that yields a sizable crop of pears.
A 10th standard drop out, Gowhar sells compost to the agriculture department for around 6 lacs. He has 30 sheep and 2000 birds right now. 
Gowhar is full of admiration for the agriculture department. He says without the help of the department  the journey would not have been possible. 
"The department frequently invites me to speak at training events where I mentor prospective agribusiness owners and share my experiences and successful journey in the agri industry," Gowhar said. 
He claimed that the government departments of agriculture, sheep and animal husbandry are providing hundreds of schemes to the unemployed youth of Kashmir but one has to stay honest with their job. 
"I feel bad about our unemployed youth who are ready to pay lakhs as  bribe but are not ready to avail government schemes in integrated farming. Youth of Kashmir must come forward and avail the services of these departments,"Gowhar revealed.


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