A three-day workshop on ‘Pre & Post Harvest Management of Mushroom’ was recently organized by the Department of Agriculture, Jharkhand Rai University. Scientists from leading organizations were guest speakers at the workshop. More than 100 agriculture science students attended the sessions. The workshop was an opportunity for students to learn cultivation of mushrooms and entrepreneurship opportunities arising out of it. The key objective of the seminar was to facilitate a better understanding of mushroom cultivation technology and usage of modern farming techniques in a practical setup.
Mushroom cultivation production techniques have been an important part of the ELP (Experiential Learning Programmes) for B.Sc & M. Sc Agriculture Science students at Jharkhand Rai University.
In the past, the university has organized regular study tours to ICAR, DMR (Directorate of Mushroom Institute) at Solan, Himachal Pradesh.
Dr. Ajit Kumar Jha- Sr. Scientist, (Plant Pathology) ICAR-RCER FSRCHPR-Ranchi, spoke in detail about Production Technology in Mushrooms. Dr. Jha explained the mushroom varieties and production time, familiarising students from spawning method preparation to its management.
Dr. Anuradha Srivastava – Scientist (Food Technology) DMR, ICAR, Solan spoke about Post-harvest Management of Mushrooms as they have a low shelf-life. Hence, it’s important to know the proper Handling and value additions. She also spoke about setting up a grading, packaging, and canning unit for the mushroom. Different modes of transport for harvested mushrooms as per distance were also discussed.
Unlike vegetables or cereal crops, mushrooms do not require much manual labour, financial investment, or time. Mushrooms have a short growth cycle and their cultivation is a good option to generate income and become financially independent.
Some of the key thoughts on Mushroom cultivation as an Entrepreneurial Venture, shared by Dr. Santosh Kumar Asst. Professor cum Junior Scientist (Plant Pathology), MBAC Saharsa on the 3rd day of the workshop are mentioned below –
- Use of SMS (Spent Mushroom Substrate) to use as Organic Manure
- Recycling of SMS to use as organic manure
- Organic fertilizer (Improve physical & chemical properties of soil)
- Bioremediation of contaminated soil and water
- Management of Soil-borne plant pathogens
Nutritional Value of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a delicacy in Jharkhand. Whether it is Oyster or button mushroom or the rare Rugda- mushroom varieties have been an integral part of Jharkhand’s food culture of both tribal as well as non-tribal communities.
Low in calories, fat and cholesterol-free, mushrooms contain over a dozen minerals plus vitamins that include copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc and a number of B vitamins such as folate. Mushrooms are also high in antioxidants – selenium and glutathione – substances believed to protect cells from damage, reduce chronic disease and inflammation.