In Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir, local farmers are cultivating mushrooms on a large scale to encourage youth to participate in farming. This move of farmers is helping them improve their financial status. So far, 750 quantiles to 800 quantiles of mushrooms have been produced
Vijay Upadhaya, Chief Agriculture Officer told agencies, “The production of mushrooms in Kathua district is very high. The proper guidance and training of farmers are encouraging the youth to grow mushrooms in various parts of the district. More than 200 farmers of Kathua district are adopting the mushroom cultivation now.”
The officer said that benefits in mushroom farming increase farmers' interest in the business. Mushroom farmers are earning handsome money in the business.
"The reason for a large number of farmers opting for mushroom cultivation is that it does not require any land to cultivate. Also, the mushroom cultivation does not clash with the cultivation of other crops. During this season when farmers are free, they can indulge in this. This supplements the farmers' income without affecting their normal cultivation work," he added.
Cultivation of mushroom started in Jammu and Kashmir in 1964 by the Department of Agriculture, Lamandi, Srinagar. There is a high scope for mushroom cultivation in Jammu region because of diverse agro-climatic conditions and availability of raw materials.
Mushroom can be cultivated in all weathers by providing suitable temperature to it.
Farmers of other states including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, etc. have adopted mushroom cultivation as commercial crops which is largely export-oriented.
Cultivation of mushroom plays an important role in the government’s agenda of doubling farmers income by 2022. It doesn't require separate land as it is done indoors.
The BJP government set a target to double the income of farmers by 2022. To achieve the goal, the government is focusing on improvement in crop productivity, improvement in livestock productivity, resources used inefficiency or saving in the cost of production, increase in the cropping intensity, diversification towards high value, shift from farm to non-farm occupation and improvement in real prices received by farmers.