Over 1,000 mushroom growers in Jashore District in southwestern Bangladesh, have quit their farming after a government project facilitating mushroom farming was shut down. The farmers are leaving mushroom cultivation, moving to other professions.
Mushroom cultivation was introduced in the district in 2001. It was later expanded in the region through a project titled "Strengthening Mushroom Development'' which was initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2009. Since then, more than 1,500 men and women joined mushroom cultivation.
They earned a hefty amount by cultivating mushrooms in their houses under the patronage and guideline from the project. However, the project was abruptly shut down in June 2014. After the closure of the project, most of the farmers have been backing out from mushroom cultivation.
One former mushroom grower from the Chanchra Dal Mill area had to quit mushroom farming but after the government project shut down. Now he makes a living by running a small business in Jhenidah. He said it is very difficult to cultivate mushrooms without government patronage.