District Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) has conducted a training programme for farmers and members of women self-help groups (SHGs) on cultivation of milky mushroom to supplement family income during off-season.
As the farmers were busy only from October to January when they took up agriculture activities after the onset of northeast monsoon, the university suggested that they could be trained in farm-based activities to earn additional income.
As part of the plan, the KVK imparted training to 78 farmers and members of women SHGs at its office here on Tuesday. Assistant Professor J. Ramkumar, Agricultural Entomology, KVK, who conducted the training, said a farmer could earn about Rs. 750 per day, if he/she invested about Rs. 15,000 for establishing a 10x15 ft mushroom shed and for buying spawn bottles.
They chose the ‘heat loving’ milky mushroom as it was best suited for the district, which witnessed tropical weather condition, he said, adding the farmers were taught about forming mushroom bed with paddy straw, sterilisation process and maintaining spawn running room.
They were also taught about casing with sterilised soil after transferring the mycelial grown mushrooms into the shed and about the process of sprinkling water on a daily basis till mushroom buds sprouted and grew for harvest, he said.
Marketing would not be a problem as hotels serving mushroom dishes would buy them on a regular basis if the farmers tied up with them. The farmers could sell one kg of milky mushroom for Rs. 160 and they could harvest a minimum of about five kgs a day. For availing subsidy and financial assistance, the farmers were asked to contact agriculture department, he said. R. Rajasekaran, Programme Coordinator, KVM, who inaugurated the training programme, said they expected about 35 farmers but more than double the number turned up.
Source : The Hindu