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Arunachal

Arunachal: Cost effective Empowerment of Rural Women through Mushroom Farming

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PASIGHAT- In Arunachal Pradesh, naturally grown Mushrooms are consumed widely by the local people. However, due to the short period of availability of naturally growing mushrooms, their commercial cultivation has lots of potential in the state.

More than 75% of the farmers in the state are small & marginal farmers and Oyster Mushroom Cultivation can be of immense importance for ensuring additional income by utilization of available resources like paddy straw (khair).

Keeping this in mind, the College of Horticulture and Forestry, Central agricultural University, Pasighat carried out the technology demonstration on Oyster Mushroom Cultivation under the AICRP on Mushroom Project in different Villages as well as college campus.

The assessment of availability of paddy straw indicated that nearly 60% of the total paddy straw produced in the farming systems remains unutilized. The prevailing food consumption pattern of the farm families indicated rice/meat/boil dominated diet with acute deficiency of pulses, vegetables leaves, oil seeds and animal proteins.

After undergoing the training on Oyster Mushroom Cultivation at the CHF, CAU, Pasighat a total of 35 progressive farmers from Tezu, Lohit District learned the Oyster Mushroom Cultivation during 7 to 9 October, 2020.

Therefore, the completion of training programme in majority person is starting mushroom cultivation for our own purpose not for commercial purpose. After getting trained in Mushroom Cultivation, Mrs. Ranimai Ngadong Mekailiang Tezu is growing the Mushroom in two huts (made up of tokopatta and bamboos) with a total area of nearly 200 sq m.

 During 2020-21, she had produced more than 500 Kg of Mushroom and sold them in the local market @ Rs. 300 per Kg with a total earning of Rs. 15,0,000/- approximately. With the introduction of Oyster Mushroom Cultivation in the farming system, the farm families were able to earn an additional income and consumption of Oyster Mushrooms has increased in the state due to the easy availability of Mushrooms at home.

The Mushroom growers of Mekailiang Tezu village have constituted SHGs (Self Help Group) for the cluster-based production of Oyster Mushrooms. Many members of the group have also started the value-addition to the fresh Mushroom produced by them.

 The different processed products like Dried Mushroom, Mushroom Powder and Pickles are being prepared by them. A sizable amount of the processed products are being marketed in the local market, while a part of the dehydrated products are being consumed in the farm families.

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