Today expense of doing conventional farming is increasing and income of farmers is reducing. Farmers are forced to live financially weak life.To improve the conditions of farming the government is encouraging the farmers to adopt alternate farming practices. Because in alternate farming methods crops are grown with less efforts but the financial rewards are high. Horticulture department is giving subsidies to farmers on different crops like vegetables, fruits and flowers. So farmers should take advantage of producing such crops and earn good profits.A village Bhelolpur of our district is witnessing the growth of one such mushroom grower Umanshu Puri, who is earning good profits by cultivating mushrooms. After doing Electrical Engg and MBA, he worked for 2 years in metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai yet something kept inspiring him to do of his own. While he was still thinking what to do next he was intrigued by mushroom farming being done by one of his friend’s father and he decided to pursue the same. For this he took trainings from KVK center Rauni, Punjab agriculture university Ludhiana, DMR Solan; after which he did seasonal farming for 2 years. Since 2015 he has been engaged in full fledged mushroom cultivation in one acre of land by taking loan of Rs. 1 crore 35 lakh.He will also get Rs. 30 Lakh subsidy from NHB.He told that due to high electricity consumption on ACs the production cost of mushroom increase resulting in low profit margins, however, if grown in winters the avg cost of production comes out to Rs. 40/kg while yearly avg sale price is between 80-85 Rs/Kg.
He is making good monthly profit. He is also selling compost bags to other farmers during winter season. He told that mushroom farming does not require large land and in winters mushroom can be cultivated in temporary huts made of bamboo. He also told that for growing mushroom compost is prepared first and then spawn is mixed in it and this mixture is then kept in polythene bags for 12 days after which casing soil is spread top of these bags. After 20 days the mushroom starts growing from the bags.The profits in mushroom farming is evident from the fact that he has employed 18 permanent labors at his farm other than that he employs temporary labors from the village on daily wages basis during the peak season.He is producing around 120-150MT mushroom annually.He is of the view that although many of the young generation of the State aspires to go abroad but most of them live there doing menial jobs and have to compromise with their self respect. And if the youth of the State tries to adopt alternate method of farming as promoted by the government then they can live equally good life here also.He always welcome other small farmers by providing them knowledge of mushroom growing as a seasonal crop at his farm.Dr. Rajinder Singh Assistant director, horticulture department and sandeep grewal, development officer told that horticulture department gives 20 Lakh rs subsidy on loan amount of Rs, 55 Lakh.They also said that if farmers adopt mushroom farming then their financial conditions will improve. They said nutritional value of mushroom is very high and people of all a/ges can include it in their daily diet.