Shri. Sathees Kumar, a studio person of KakkoorPanchayat, Kozhikode district, Kerala turned into a successful small scale entrepreneur and owner of “M/S GOVIND MUSHROOM” by practicing innovative mushroom farming usingbanana pseudo stem, petiole and areca nut husk for mushroom bed preparation. His venture started after trainings and exposure trips to KVKs and spawn procurement from ICAR-KVK, Kozhikode. Subsequently he was equipped with his own spawn production unit. As paddy straw is not easily available while banana residues are available plenty he started using banana residues provided by nearby Kudumbasree members for the mushroom bed preparation. For this leaf harvested banana petiole, midribs and outer portion of pseudo stem made into small pieces by chopping, disinfected by steaming using specially designed cooking vessel is used. The method ensures organic mushroom production by avoiding formalin as disinfecting agent. Further the treated materials were dried to the desired level of moisture and used for filling and preparation of mushroom beds. The spawn is spread in the beds at 8 to 10 cm thickness interval. Using 250 g of spawn, about 1.5 Kg of Oyster mushroom can be harvested by 3 to 5 pickings. He sold mushroom @ Rs 300/kg.
In order to promote such kind of entrepreneurship in the district, ICAR-KVK, Kozhikode has added the component of innovative methods of mushroom cultivation with theory and practical classes on mushroom spawn production, bed preparation by using paddy straw, banana stem and areca nut husk, cultivation and management of mushroom in different stages, value addition of mushroom, etc.
Since October, 2015, ICAR-KVK, Kozhikode hasdispatched about 170 kg spawn (700 pockets @ 250g each) and trained about 500 persons through on campus and off-campus trainings organised at KrishiBhavans, Farmer Training Centres, Registered societiesand NGOs, etc. The trainingshave overwhelming response from Kudumbasree members of Kozhikode district. ICAR-KVK, Kozhikode is also offering on-hand training to farm women groups, youths including college and school students of Thamarasserry, Balusserry, Perambra, Vadakara, Naduvannur, Chempanoda, Peruvannamuzhi, Meppayur, Muthukadu, Panthirikkara, Poozhithode, Chakkittapara areas of Kozhikode district. The trained students are practicing mushroom production at their school/college level units while spreading this innovative mushroom production technology to the villagers through their NSS programmes. Meanwhile the trained Kudumbasree members are practicing and extend the technology to the nearby group members for its lateral spread.
(Source:ICAR- KrishiVigyan Kendra, Kozhikode)