Nauni University has come up with a solution to boost Dhingri mushroom cultivation. By harnessing the potential of apple pulp, researchers at the university have successfully enhanced the quality and variety of these mushrooms, surpassing traditional cultivation methods that rely on wheat. Moreover, this pioneering technique not only eliminates the shortage of straw for mushroom growth but also significantly increases the yield, making it twice as abundant.
The cultivation of Dhingri mushrooms is widespread across India, including the state of Himachal Pradesh. However, local farmers face challenges in procuring wheat husk from neighboring states such as Haryana and Punjab, as it proves costly. Recognizing the need for an alternative, Nauni University researchers turned their attention to apple residue, which is typically wasted after juicing. These remnants, which are often discarded by roadsides and processing units, are now being repurposed for mushroom cultivation.
Every year, a substantial amount of apple juice is extracted, leaving behind pomace, a bio-residue that constitutes around half of the total apple solids. Sadly, this pomace is generally dumped near processing facilities, causing environmental pollution. To address this issue, Dr. Nivedita Sharma, Head of the Department of Basic Science, and Dr. Dharmesh Gupta, from the Department of Plant Pathology, embarked on a two-year research project at Nauni University. Their objective was to explore the feasibility of using apple pomace for Dhingri mushroom production. The results of their research have been highly promising, showcasing a remarkable improvement in nutritional quality and a notable increase in yield per unit of mushrooms.
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