As many as 32 mushroom growers attended the five-day training course on “Mushroom Cultivation for Winter Season” which concluded at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today. The course, planned specifically for the farmers and the farm women, was held under the guidance of Dr GS Buttar, Director of Extension Education, PAU.
Dr TS Riar, Associate Director (Skill Development) and Additional Director Communication, said that the mushroom growing has emerged as a profitable enterprise for the small, marginal and the big farmers. The training course centered around cultivation practices, processing, marketing and loan facilities for mushroom growers, he informed.
Dr Kuldeep Singh, Head, Department of Extension Education, urged the farmers: “Do not double the problems by setting paddy straw on fire. It is high time for you to realize that heath is wealth. Adopt straw management technologies which encompass utilization of farm machinery such as PAU Happy Seeder, Smart Seeder, Super Seeder, Surface Seeder, etc. or use straw for mushroom cultivation, cardboard making, biogas generation, etc.”
Stating that PAU trained mushroom growers were reaping fiscal benefits, Dr Prerna Kapila, Course Coordinator, opined that due to minimum investment and maximum returns, mushroom cultivation was being adopted on a large scale.
Dr Lavleesh Garg, Co-Coordinator, motivated the farmers and the rural women to become farm entrepreneurs by starting mushroom-based businesses.
Technical Coordinator Dr Shivani Sharma and expert Dr Jaspreet Kaur explained the cultivation of paddy straw, milky, dhingri and Shiitake mushrooms during the winter season. “Setting ablaze paddy stubble is detrimental to the health of humans, animals as well as the soil,” observed Dr Sharma, while calling upon the farming community to stop stubble fires and use straw for mushroom cultivation.
Experts Dr Sukhjot Kaur, Dr Sonika Sharma, Dr Ramandeep Jassal, Dr Maninder Kaur, Dr IS Sandhu and Mrs Kuldeep Kaur shared the health benefits of mushrooms, making of mushroom-based recipes, tips for mushroom processing and packaging as well as its profitable marketing, and bank facilities being offered to the growers.
Dr Narinder Kalsi, Nodal Officer (Mushroom), informed about the availability of subsidy on mushroom cultivation.
Mrs Kanwaljit Kaur proposed a vote of thanks.