Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], January 30 (ANI): Mushroom cultivation is booming in Poonch's Jhalas village thanks to the Jammu and Kashmir agriculture department's initiative that trains local farmers who are interested in cultivating the crop.
According to Jasbir Singh, Agriculture Development Assistant, the main objective of the Mushroom Development Centre is to make locals aware of mushroom farming so that they can be self-employed.
"We teach local farmers how to make the right kind of compost, harvest and cultivate mushrooms. We also teach them how to spawn and multiply a harvest. This is an easy method that can be done indoors and does not need much land," Singh said, adding that cultivation remains largely unaffected by natural factors like availability of rain and sunlight.
He said, "Many have been given seeds for spawning so that they can pursue this themselves. It is a good opportunity for self-employment."
"Several local farmers come here to learn how to cultivate mushrooms. Many earn a good living from mushroom farming while some young people work here to save some money for studies. This field is quite lucrative as it requires less investment and the returns are plentiful," said Room Lal, field assistant of the Agriculture Centre in Jhalas who has been growing mushrooms for the last 15 years.
Amreek Singh, a mushroom farmer claims that he earns over Rs 70,000 every harvest season after receiving training from the Mushroom Development Centre.
"To open my mushroom shed, I got a 75 per cent subsidy from the administration. Now I earn over Rs 70,000 every season. I am grateful to the government," he said. (ANI)