Department of Agriculture Ramban is successfully promoting Mushroom farming among farmers especially women to double the farmers’ income by 2022.According to the Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO) Farooq Ahmed as many as 75 progressive farmers interested in Mushroom farming have been trained by the department besides providing them 5560 compost bags which are transported from village Kharote of District Kathua through the departmental refrigerator vans. During the year 2021-22, from August to till date, the district has recorded 11032 kgs production of Mushroom from 5560 bags, surpassing the record of all previous years.He said that farmers are growing Edible Mushrooms popular for delicacy and flavor and adding that it’s an excellent source of vitamins, minerals & proteins. White Button Mushroom, Agaricus bisporus is commonly grown on specially prepared media called compost.The main ingredient of compost is wheat straw which is a constraint for the large scale commercial cultivation of mushroom and to meet the requirement the wheat straw procured from the neighboring wheat producing districts or states is a costly affair which reduces the cost benefit ratio.
However, in the present era of Science and Technology, the pasteurized composting units established by both private and public players in District Udhampur, Kathua, Samba and Jammu have opened new vistas of profitable Mushroom cultivation in District Ramban. Such units offer the availability of pasteurized compost bags each, containing 10-12 KG well prepared compost.The compost bags procured from such units save the time by one month besides, offering cost benefit ratio of 1:2.5, he added District Ramban has huge potential for round the year production of Mushroom owing to variable altitude. To tap the potential, the department is imparting hands-on training to the new growers through the method of learning by doing, encouraging entrepreneurship to make the availability of Mushroom in the local markets.Mushroom growers have expressed their satisfaction with the results and are hopeful to increase the volume of production during next season.They also extended their gratitude to the Deputy Commissioner, Ramban Mussarat Islam for taking an initiative by mobilizing the Agriculture Department which has carried out massive extension work during the past season in all Panchayats to boost entrepreneurship. The CAO said that the department will help the farmers by imparting them training to undertake mushroom growing activity. He said that Mushroom cultivation is an income generating activity with the potential of meeting the dream of the PM to double the farming income by 2022.