Mushrooms are edible fungi that grow on moist surfaces such as wood or other organic matter. Not all types of mushrooms are edible, but the edible ones have a good market. Mushroom farming is a booming sector in agribusiness in India. The low investment and low maintenance features are attracting people to this business. This is mainly done as a part-time or alternative income.
Due to the favourable climate, mushroom farming in Kerala is third in the country. The State Government is conducting various training sessions in mushroom farming in Bihar. Mushroom farming in Gujarat is done by homemakers, professionals, and some students as well. The expected income is INR 1000 per sq ft onwards. The average price per kg of mushroom is INR 150 and each bag will carry approximately 1 kg of mushroom. The per kg price varies in each state. It is INR 189 in Kerala, INR 180-200 in Bihar, and INR 130 in Gujarat.
What will be a good mushroom farming business plan?
If you are planning mushroom farming, the first thing you need is a proper plan on how to do the farming, what is the process behind it, the techniques to use, and most importantly, its market. The mushroom farming business requires very less space and minimal investment. It grows in sawdust or wooden pieces or a mix of any of these items, etc. So, you do not have to worry too much about the budget. You must choose the species carefully and understand what season is ideal for which species.
Types of mushroom farming in India
Three types of mushrooms are used for mushroom farming in India. They are button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and paddy straw mushrooms. Button mushroom farming is mainly done in the winter season when the weather conditions are most suitable. The Oyster mushroom likes the northern plains for its growth. The paddy straw mushrooms are ideal to grow in areas where the temperature ranges from 35-40 degrees Celsius. Button mushrooms are the most popular type used for farming which has a larger market. They are white in colour and attractive.
How to start small-scale mushroom farming?
Mushroom farming involves various steps that are simple but need to be done diligently. Here, we will see the details about button mushroom farming.
Step 1- Composting
- Making compost is the first step of mushroom farming. It must be done carefully in the open on flat trays. It should have proper drainage to avoid liquid accumulation. It should also be protected from rain. Compost can be natural or synthetic.
- Synthetic compost is made using bran, calcium ammonium nitrate/ammonium sulphate gypsum, urea, and wheat straw. They are mixed well and soaked in water using a sprinkling method and made into a pile.
- Natural compost consists of wheat straw and gypsum mixed with horse dung and poultry manure. Only fresh manure is used for compost making. Sprinkle water to wet the wheat straw, mix well and let it ferment. Turn the compost pile regularly and keep it wet. When you get the smell of ammonia, it means that it is decomposing. Using natural compost makes it organic mushroom farming.
- When the compost is ready to use, they are filled into the designated trays at a thickness of 15-18 cm. The filling should be moist and maintained.
Step 2- Spawning
This is the process of sowing the mushroom mycelium. You can either sprinkle it on the compost filling or mix it well with the compost before filling the trays. After sowing, cover it with newspapers and sprinkle it with water to keep it moist.
Step 3- Casing soil
Casing soil is spread over the mushrooms. This is the soil mixed with cow dung and filtered thoroughly and sterilised to eliminate microbes. Spread it over the compost and maintain a high temperature near 27 degrees for 72 hrs.
Step 4- Cropping
This is the stage after 15 days when the ‘buttons’ on the button mushrooms are prominent and tight on their stems. They are ready for harvesting.
Step 5- Harvesting
Gently pressing against the soil, slowly twist the caps to loosen them. Take the caps off leaving the soiled stem on the tray.
How profitable is mushroom farming in India?
Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, and Kerala are the highest mushroom-producing states. Mushroom farming profit in India is at least INR 1000 per sq. ft. area. The upper margin of the profit in mushroom farming in India can be much higher with large-scale production. The profit depends on the area you use for farming, the type of mushroom you use, and the best market you find. If you feel that you can find all of these, then you can surely do mushroom farming.
Note: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial or legal advice. Pesticides are a considerable risk of loss in crops and viewers are advised to do their own research before making any decisions.