Vinay Bhushan Panda, a young scientist from Barakia village of Upada block in Odisha’s Balasore district, is an inspiration for all those youths in the country who are struggling to get employment after completing their studies. Instead of waiting for employment, Vinay chose to be self-reliant by taking up mushroom farming. Today, he employs over 20 people providing them the means for their livelihood.

After completing his MSc, MPhil, and PhD in Botany, Vinay spent some time researching and learning the intricacies of mushroom farming. Initially, he started small with Rs 1 lakh from his savings and started button mushroom farming in his backyard. As his business grew, Vijay took a loan of Rs 1 crore under the Odisha Chief Minister’s Krishi Udyog Yojana and started button mushroom farming on a larger scale.

Today, Vinay earns around Rs 3-4 lakh every month and is well-known across Balasore as a successful farmer. He says he gave up the idea of searching for a job and decided to take up mushroom farming while he was doing his PhD as he saw great potential in this business. “I came in contact with some agriculture experts and was inspired to do something on my own rather than seeking a job,” says Vinay.