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Delhi mushroom farmer reflects on his growing business

Mr. Pawan Kumar, a mushroom producer from Hasanpur village in South-West Delhi, struggled to grow wheat and mustard during the Kharif season due to the salty groundwater in his location, limiting agricultural productivity. Unhappy with his annual income he sought advice from scientists at ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Delhi, and decided to pursue mushroom cultivation as a business venture. He believed it would supplement the current agricultural system and increase his yearly revenue.

In 2016, Kumar attended vocational training on mushroom cultivation at ICAR-KVK campus. He established a mushroom unit at his farm, receiving regular advice from ICAR-KVK scientists who visited and advised him on improvements. After the completion of his vocational training, he established a 700 Sq/ft button mushroom production unit in 2016-17 under ICAR-KVK's supervision. He received technical support for temperature and humidity control, compost preparation, spawning, casing, and picking practices.

To increase the efficiency of this mushroom farm, Kumar contacted ICAR- Directorate of Mushroom Research, Solan as he soon expanded the mushroom unit from 900 sq/ft to 5000 sq/ft in 2022-23, preparing casing and selling to another grower. He initially supplied to the local market but later he started selling mushrooms to restaurants and malls in Delhi-NCR, earning good prices during off-season cultivation. He also fulfilled consumer demand on a contract basis and created a booking portal for mushroom supply.

Starting mushroom cultivation unit in November 2016 and harvesting mushrooms in February 2017., Kumar expanded production from 900 sq ft to 5000 sq ft and sold mushrooms to restaurants and malls in Najafgarh, New Delhi. Currently, the mushroom price ranges from Rs. 100 to 120/kg, with off-season availability increasing to Rs. 160-180/kg. He purchases Button Mushrooms from a small grower in South West Delhi. He currently produces around 54000 kg of mushroom from his unit, generating a net income of Rs. 21,60,000 annually.

Read the entire article at Krishak Jagat

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