KATHUA: To generate Employment and income-oriented avenues in the Agriculture sector, the Department of Agriculture Production and Farmers Welfare Kathua has taken a unique initiative to promote off season mushroom cultivation in Bani area of the Kathua district.
The initiative taken by the department has proved to be a blessing for the farmers, who were motivated to grow off-season mushroom.
Narrating the success story of Bani Farmers, Chief Agriculture Officer Kathua Vijay Kumar Upadhaya, said that a total of 2000 pasteurised compost bags were arranged and transported by Departmental Reefer Truck for the farmers of isolated and hilly areas like Gatti, Beckon, Barmota, Duggan, Chandel, Bani, Sarthali and Lowang to promote Off Season Mushroom cultivation. The mushroom cultivation requires an optimum temperature of 16 to 24 degree centigrade which is available in November to March in plains of Kathua and April to October in Bani/Malhar/Machedi areas.
A successful trial of off-season mushroom cultivation was conducted in the area and the same shall be replicated on mass scale in the area, which can be a high profit venture for the farmers with high demand of produce in the market during summers, he added.
While narrating their story, mushroom grower Bharat Bhushan and Sajjad Ahmed, both residents of Gatti said that Mushroom Cultivation is a high profit venture with gestation period of 3 months only. Another mushroom grower, Farooq Ahmed from Barmota said that the farmers, especially unemployed youth must come forward to adopt this technology. Dhani Ram, a farmer from Duggan said that off season cultivation of mushroom in the area can bring more profit to the farmers due to high demand in the market. The farmers from Beckon, Tariq Ahmed and Madan Lal, said that a good flush of mushroom was harvested by them and the same was sold in the local market as well as in Kathua.
With the participation of more and more farmers, an economy of scale shall be reached and transportation outside shall be minimised with cooperative selling in far off mandies in near future, expressed Chief Agriculture Officer.