Mushroom Cultivation

Mushrooms - An Overview

Human consuming mushrooms as food, medicine and even as intoxicant, since time immemorial by collecting them from the wild. Mushroom-hunting is still a game or a hobby with many. The appearance of mushrooms in the wild is, however, uncertain and seasonal depending upon many factors like habitat and climate etc.

There are 20 types of edible and medicinal mushrooms have been domesticated and technologies have been improved to the commercial level and the significant production is of

i) Button Mushroom
ii) Oyster Mushroom
iii) Paddy Straw Mushroom
iv) Milky Mushroom
v) Shiitake Mushroom
vi) Black Ear Mushroom

Benefits and Uses of Mushroom

i) Mushrooms are a good source of very good quality protein especially rich in lysine and thus suppliment well the cereal based Indian diet
ii) Mushrooms are a low-calorie: high protein diet, with no starch and sugars, and are called the diabetics delight.
iii) Many mushrooms possess significant medicinal attributes like hypocholeaterolemic, hypoglycemic and hypotensive properties
iv) Mushroom have capacity to convert nutritionally valueless substance like wheat or paddy straw in the nutritious delicacies
v) Mushroom production has tremendous potential as an income generating activity
vi) It grows independent of sunlight, feed on organic matter and does not require fertile soil
vi) Mushrooms are considered to be the highest producer of protein per unit area and time

Marketing of Mushroom

Mushroom farming is one of the most profitable business these days. India is predominantly a market for the fresh mushrooms, with very little quantity sold as canned mainly for the institutional consumers. Almost entire export is in the canned form accompanied with mushroom pickles as a bye-product of the canneries. But future is going to witness greater contribution from the processing sector, both as stored and really processed mushrooms.

Cultivation Aspects of Button Mushroom

Button mushroom production in the country started in the 70s and growth rate, both in terms of productivity as well as production was slow in initial years, but has become exponential in last few years.

In India, the mushroom production systems are of two types i.e. both seasonal as well as high-tech cultivation. Many small and medium scale units have come up in Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, haryana and other parts of the country that contribute about 85% of button mushroom production. The remaining 15% is contributed by seasonal growers.

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