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Project worth Rs 42 crore Earmarked to Revolutionize Mushroom Cultivation in J&K

Agricultural diversification is essential for reducing risk in farming activities, and the J&K Government is constantly implementing the most recent technological interventions to diversify the agriculture sector throughout Jammu & Kashmir.

Shivam Dwivedi
'Promotion of Year-Round Mushroom Cultivation' project is one of 29 approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration
'Promotion of Year-Round Mushroom Cultivation' project is one of 29 approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration

Mushroom cultivation is an important tool for not only increasing agricultural income but also protecting it from rising climate and soil resource changes. With this in mind, the Government of J&K is launching a full-fledged project called 'Promotion of Year-Round Mushroom Cultivation' (PRYMC) across the UT.


According to an official statement, the project, which will be implemented at a cost of around Rs 42 Cr over the next three years by the Agriculture Production Department of J&K, will increase mushroom production by 3.5 times and revolutionize mushroom cultivation in the state.

The project will also triple the number of jobs created, and over 768 new businesses will be established to ensure the long-term viability of the interventions. "Mushroom farming generates revenue and aids in poverty alleviation. "The cultivation and marketing of mushrooms generates a significant amount of direct and indirect employment opportunities, as well as opportunities for processing businesses and labor-intensive management," said Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department.

He went on to say that mushroom farming requires little capital and technical expertise, and that it is even possible to grow mushrooms on a small scale indoors and easily earn a high return on investment. He went on to say that women can grow mushrooms in their homes with little investment, and that as a result, mushroom farming not only empowers rural women but also combats poverty at its root. The 'Promotion of Year-Round Mushroom Cultivation' project is one of 29 approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration after being recommended by the UT Level Apex Committee for holistic development of Agriculture and Allied Sectors in J&K.


The prestigious committee is headed by Dr Mangala Rai, Former DG ICAR and has other luminaries in the field of Agriculture, Planning, Statistics & Administration like Ashok Dalwai, CEO NRAA, Dr P. K Joshi, Secretary, NAAS, Dr Prabhat Kumar, Horticulture Commissioner MOA & FW, Dr H. S Gupta, Former Director, IARI, Atal Dulloo IAS, Financial Commissioner (Addl Chief Secretary) APD apart from the Vice Chancellors of the twin Agriculture Universities of the UT.

"The mushroom is an important cottage industry in rural areas. It benefits small and marginal farmers, landless labourers, and women economically. As a cash crop, it is a good way to generate employment opportunities for the UT's youth," said K.K Sharma, Director of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Jammu, who is implementing the project in collaboration with SKUAST. He also stated that the scarcity of pasteurised compost and the unorganised market were major constraints in mushroom production, which this project will address significantly.

In three years, the project will establish 26 pasteurised composting units, 10 spawn production labs, and 72 controlled conditioned cropping rooms (capacity of 2000 bags). 1.5 lakh subsidised pasteurised compost bags will be distributed to mushroom growers to promote mushroom cultivation in non-traditional areas. Women will be empowered through the formation of 300 women Self-Help Groups (WSHGs). The project also focuses on increasing the value of the perishable commodity by establishing four canning units and distributing 60 solar dryers to mushroom growers. In addition, Rs 2.1 crores has been set aside for research and development.


This will also include the promotion of medicinal mushrooms and the introduction of new mushroom strains. It will also place a special emphasis on standardizing locally available substrates and documenting optimal growth conditions. The mushroom sector in J&K is about to experience a resurgence, thanks to unprecedented institutional and capital support that will increase production, productivity, and exports of mushrooms from the UT.


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