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Matiranga plans massive cultivation of mushroom
Bangladesh: Mushroom cultivation to fight poverty

Matiranga, a remote upazila of hilly Khagrachhari district, has planned massive cultivation of mushrooms to fight poverty with a slogan titled 'Safety through Development'. Sixty families of Matiranga, 90km off the port city, have started cultivating mushroom after receiving training in this regard at the local army zone headquarters. Having training on mushroom cultivation, they have harvested several batches of products to get financial support, at least to some extent, during the last two months.

Initially the families from six small localities of Charpara, Muslimpara, Babupara, Chowdhurypara, Moieetri Nagar and Mandirpara received the training under Pragati Mushroom Training Project organised and financed by the local zone headquarters of Bangladesh Army. They received certificates from the local army zone commander at a colourful function at Matiranga Degree College on December 15.

Zharna Tripura of Babupara said the training will help them cultivate mushroom. It will also help them for consumption and marketing. Aneu Chowdhury Nayan, a ward commissioner and headman, said the tribal people will be able to differentiate the non-poisonous mushrooms from the poisonous ones while collecting them from wild state following the training.

She said but such naturally grown mushrooms are not always available when the collection is insufficient. Aneu said after the training we now cultivate mushrooms to consume and sell a portion. While visiting the area on Saturday this correspondent saw the locals are growing mushrooms in every house in six paras (areas) after the training. Abul Bashar Miajee, a senior lecturer of Matiranga Degree College, looked very happy while he was showing the "Mada" (coils of rotting straws) with different stage of growing mushrooms his wife Jobeda Khanam raised in rows on shelves at a corner of a small makeshift structure.

Bashar said he eats mushrooms as it helps him check diabetes. He said he also has got a good harvest to sell in the last two months and before harvesting the next batch he has received requests from many in advance to supply them mushrooms.
Udya Kiron Tripura of Moieetri Nagar was all in smile while he was showing the wonderful growth of the mushrooms he is cultivating at a corner of his house.

Udya said he is having three harvests from a single batch in 45 days and the production cost is also very nominal. Inspired with the success he is now planning to raise more Madas and cultivate mushrooms in wider scale for marketing. Dr Mohammad Habibur Rahman, a college teacher, said with a suitable climate Matiranga has a huge prospect of mushroom. Meanwhile, encouraged by the success of the trained mushroom growers, the people from remote areas of Matiranga are expressing their interest to receive the training at the Matiranga Army Headquarters and cultivate mushrooms.

Matiranga Army Zone Commander said they have a plan to train as many as 500 families and provide them with seeds to cultivate mushrooms. At the same time they are helping the mushroom growers form a cooperatives society to collect seeds and marketing their products in the city for a better price, he said.


Publication date: 12/19/2007


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