How mushroom cultivation has changed the fortunes of youth in Samba Village

Village Sarain is located at a distance of near about 13 kilometers from Samba city. One has to turn left from Mansar Morh and reach main market of Nud Block. After crossing bridge next to Nud, one has to again turn left to reach Sarain. mushroom

The cropping pattern of the village comprises of maize as food crop along with fodder like Bajra in Kharif and wheat as the major food crop along with oats as fodder in Rabi season.

About seventy percent of the families in the village are now taking to Mushroom (White Button) cultivation. Many of them have taken this on a large scale. What is interesting is that majority of youth are doing this business. Infact they have taken this as an enterprise and are earning 1.5 to 2 lakh per season.

Mushroom refers to the fruiting bodies of a fungus, just like mangoes, apples and oranges are the fruiting bodies of their respective trees. A mushroom is a kind of fungus with the Latin name of Agaricus bisporus.

Read also: Village in Reasi has set an example of agri-entrepreneurship in Silk farming

The mushroom crop has a growing season of about four months that starts from end of October and lasts till end of February. This is the time when the temperature and humidity for growing mushroom is optimum.  For the villagers, the process of mushroom growing starts from end of the September when they start making compost for growing mushroom.

Most of the mushroom growers send their produce to nearby district of Udhampur. The mushroom growers usually collect their produce weighing more than one quintal and send it to Udhampur. They have also arranged a special van for the marketing of their produce. The van operates on a no profit, no loss basis.

In the market after the selling the product and paying for the fuel cost of van as well as market commission which is rupees seven per quintal; the amount is shared by the growers on the basis of quantity of mushroom they contributed.

Initially few families were cultivating mushroom for commercial purposes. But now with the intervention by Farmer ‘FIRST’ programme of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu, almost every family is producing mushroom for at least for their self consumption. Most of them are earning rupees in lakhs within a short period of three to four months.

Source: Sarain; the Mushroom Village
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