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From being referred to as the “food for the Gods” and being only consumed by Pharaohs

,
mushrooms has long been used by mankind as a savoury. In spite of having a reference in the
Vedas, not until the mid-80s did Indians know about the delicacies mushroom offered.
However, looking at the present day, mushroom have become a most popular dish, starting
from being used in Chinese cuisines to adding a desi style to it, mushrooms has win over our
hearts.

Mushroom belonging to the genus Agaricus, Pleurotus,& Volvariella are precisely cultivated
in India, commonly known as button mushroom, oyster mushroom( local name dhingri) and
paddy straw mushroom.

Button Mushroom Oyster Mushroom Paddy Straw Mushroom

Mushroom Cultivation in India

India recently got introduced to the prospect of mushroom cultivation/ farming. Solan was the
first to see the beginning of mushroom cultivation during the mid - sixties due to the effort of
Dr. E.F.K Mental. Later on, Maharaja of Patiala started the trend of mushroom farming at
Dochi and Chail and gradually it descended down from the north, and today nearly every
state has either cottage scale or large-scale mushroom industry.

Mushroom as a culinary dish is growing widely popular among Indians and thus is a growing
profitable area with a low start-up capital investment.

With the initiative of empowering rural India, many SHGs (self-help groups) approaches
farmers and village women to start mushroom cultivation at a small scale, making them
entrepreneurs.

Spawn production also consists of three steps: i. oyster mushrooms are the best because they are profitable and easy to grow. As a start-up. Substrate preparation ii. Spewing And later comes harvesting and storage. 1. Preparation of compost 3. the type of mushroom to be grown depends. i. Preparation of spawn 2. Precaution must be taken to avoid contamination. Cultivating mushroom takes place precisely in three steps: 1. seasonal or all year around.e. Substrate inoculation . Spawn Preparation: Spawn is a pure culture of the mycelium grown on a special medium.How to start cultivating mushroom? Depending on the type of growers.

Mother Culture Commercial Spawn The spawn produced can also be sold at this point of time when the grains are all covered with white mycelium. Incubation of the inoculated spawn. . iii.

Compost Preparation: Compost is the substrate on which mushroom grows. On the 6th day fertilisers like CAN and ammonium sulfate are added 5. Composting is done in trays: Steps in Compost Preparation: 1. 6. After 28 to 30 days. Packing of wet straw inside plastic bags or layering of straw in a mushroom tray bed 2. Allow the compost to decompose for about 28- 30 days under aerobic conditions in the compost pile 3. compost turns dark brown in colour . Periodic turning is done after every 3 days. 25th day is the last day of turning. Gypsum is added on 10th day along with more water. 4. 1. .

Layer Spewing: The compost and spawns are distributed evenly in each layer. Holes are poked on the bags to allow the mushrooms to grow out of the holes. only dry straw or hays are used as compost.In case of oyster mushrooms. clear polythene bags are used. Big. Spewing: Mixing of spawns with the compost is called spewing. Usually done in case of button mushrooms. . 2. composting is even more easy. Surface Spewing: Here compost and spawn are mixed together and spread along the length of the area used for cultivation. Casing layer comprises of either chalk powder or sterilized hay. This technique is used to grow oyster mushrooms. It can either be in layers or surface spewing.

After 3 to 4 days After few days After 20 to 22 days .Through Spewing: Spawns and compost are mixed together and pressed in trays which are then arranged in tiers. Fruiting of Mushrooms In case of oyster mushrooms small fruiting bodies will poke out from the holes of the plastic bags. A polythene sheet is used to cover the beds. newspapers can also be used.

Harvesting and Storage: Harvesting techniques slightly differ according to the type of mushrooms been grown. Second harvesting is done after 27 to 29 days of spawning and after 34 to 36 days. In case of oyster mushrooms. first harvesting done 20 to 22 days after spawning. the mushrooms with a damp tissue. the third harvesting is done. Before storing wipe. and then they are ready to be packed and stored in a dry environment. .

etc which can easily be taken care of. mushroom cultivation is the most easiest and cost efficient form of cottage industry. Although the temperature and humidity requirement may differ with the variety of mushroom being grown.Precautions: 1. 2. . The mushroom beds should be kept in light for a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes each day. Mushrooms being high source of protein is the answer to the question of food shortage. With a very low start-up capital invest and a high profit gain mushroom cultivation is a very economically blooming area of farming especially in rural areas. With the scales of merits raised higher than that of demerits which includes either contamination of spawns or mushroom suffering from diseases like soft mild dew. B12. Mushrooms are also low in calories lacks in cholesterol but rich in vitamins like B1. The temperature of the room should be in the range of 20°C and 26°C and relative humidity of 70 to 90 %. watery stipes. where women will find a decent way to earn their needs. Niacin and C. Why Mushroom cultivation? India is a country with ever growing population as a result food scarcity is a major problem to be dealt with.

To end with a conclusion. mushroom farming will really boost the economy as well as improve the health standards of Indians. People with all sorts of food habits can get their daily dose of proteins. .