Button Mushroom Start-Up 

Tuesday, February 5,  2019
Pandori, Jammu

Cleaning the manure, which is put on the top layer of the grow bag.

Ten Self-Help Group (SHG) women in Pandori have begun to cultivate Button mushrooms. Guided by Amrita SeRVe agricultural program officer Ghanshyam Upadhyay, the process started in the beginning of December 2018. After buying the seeds from the Department of Agriculture in the district of Kathua, the village coordinator, Shampi Sharma, helped the SHG with practical arrangements.

The mushroom bags were stored in the kitchen of Shampi’s old house in the village. The mushroom fungus is delicate and needs to be kept away from excess heat and moisture. In the next 40 days fungus appeared. Due to moisture in the kitchen, growth was slightly delayed. Once fungus appeared in the growing bags, pictures were sent to the Agriculture Office in Kathua, which had provided the training. Once received, the office sent manure for the mushrooms.

Village coordinator Shampi is watering the grow bags to keep the moisture level ideal for the mushrooms.

SHG women are active in all the stages of the process. The women are careful since it is a new venture, so Shampi is leading the group activities now. The mushroom bags have to be opened daily for half-an-hour, the mushroom watered and watched. One or two group members accompanies Shampi for the process.

The mushrooms are expected to sprout in two weeks, following which they can be sold at the Kathua market. The agricultural officers are also helping to develop contact with the sellers. As a next step, Shampi has started to involve a second SHG with Dingri (Oyster) mushroom cultivation.

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