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India: Mushroom seed production unit begins at Tavanur

The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Malappuram, started a mushroom seed production unit at its Tavanur campus on Wednesday. K. Prathapan, State Horticulture Mission director, inaugurated the spawn production unit set up with the funding of the Horticulture Mission.

A laboratory with modern facilities was set up at the Vigyan Kendra unit on the campus of Kelappaji College of Agricultural Engineering Technology, Tavanur, at a cost of Rs. 3 lakh.

M.K. Sheela, Director of Extension, Kerala Agriculture University, presided over the function. Habeeburrahman P.V., head of the Vigyan Kendra, welcomed the gathering.

More than 150 mushroom-growers from different parts of the district attended the inaugural function.

Inaugurating a gathering of mushroom growers, G. Sudarshanan, joint director, Agricultural Department, said that the spawn production laboratory would change the culture of mushroom growing in the district.

At present, mushroom growers have been buying seeds either from Kerala Agriculture University at Mannuthy, Thrissur, or from private producers for a high price.

Although private units have been producing seeds, they have never succeeded in ensuring continuous supply.

The spawn production unit at Tavanur will ensure large-scale continuous supply of seeds at low rates, said Dr. Habeeburrahman.

The demand for mushroom spawn or seed has been on the increase with more and more farmers coming forward to take up mushroom growing. The Vigyan Kendra, Malappuram, alone has trained more than 700 farmers in mushroom growing.

Many Kudumbasree units in the district have started mushroom growing as the business has been found lucrative.

A kilogram of mushroom can bring up to Rs. 120 in the market. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Malappuram, supplies mushroom for Rs. 80 a kg.

The spawn unit at Tavanur will offer mushroom seeds for Rs. 21 a 300-gm packet. However, the price may vary depending on different factors. A packet of seeds can be used to cultivate three buds of mushrooms.

Source: thehindu.com

Publication date: 1/30/2009


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