Success Story: Bihar's farmers have excelled in mushroom cultivation, making the state the top producer in the country. Despite the National Horticulture Board stating that Odisha typically has the highest mushroom production, Bihar has surpassed it. The mushroom is also called as Kukurmutta locally in Bihar.
What the data stats?
Data from the National Horticulture Board shows that in 2021-22, Bihar produced over 28,000 tonnes of mushrooms. Dr. Dayaram of Dr. Rajendra Prasad University in Samastipur stated that it took the state over 30 years to reach this milestone. He noted that mushroom farming in Bihar is done on a commercial scale, with button, oyster, and milky mushrooms being the main types cultivated.
In addition to these types of mushrooms, efforts are also being made to commercially cultivate Pedistra, Gerasium, and Citka, which have medicinal properties. He mentioned that 55 control units have been established in the state, producing more than three dozen mushrooms daily. The farmers receive training for mushroom cultivation from Pusa training institute. The university regularly organizes training programs for this purpose.
Mushroom cultivation has allowed farmers in Bihar to sell 4-5 thousand crore rupees. The state government also provides a 50% subsidy to farmers for mushroom cultivation. The climate in Bihar is favorable for growing various types of mushrooms.
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Different species of mushrooms can be grown at low cost. The data shows that in 2010, 400 tonnes of button mushrooms and 80 tonnes of oyster mushrooms were produced. Today, Bihar is the leading state in the country, having produced 28,000 tonnes of mushrooms.
According to mushroom scientist Dayaram Ki of Rajendra Agricultural University, around 3 dozen entrepreneurs in Bihar are growing button mushrooms in a controlled environment, providing employment to over 100 people. By cultivating mushrooms on straw, farmers are able to achieve higher profits with lower expenses. Agricultural scientists say that mushrooms can be produced in a shorter time period with better yields on straw during the summer.
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Techniques to grow mushroom
This technique is particularly well-suited for growing milky mushrooms, which can be ready for harvest within 15-20 days. For the cultivation of button mushrooms, normal straw mulch and wheat straw can be used, but for commercial production of button mushrooms and white milky mushrooms, a specific type of compost is required.
According to National Horticulture Board data, Maharashtra is the second-highest mushroom producing state after Bihar. Maharashtra accounts for 9.89% of total production. Odisha is in third place with 9.6% of share. Dr. Dayaram, known as the "Mushroom Man" for his role in promoting mushroom cultivation in Bihar, congratulated the farmers for this achievement.