Updated: Jan 14
In the past few years, the mushroom farming business accounted for enormous growth, thus setting trends for a high profit-making agribusiness. Its market is worth a value of USD 16.7 billion in 2020 and is estimated to reach a value of USD 20.4 billion by 2025, according to the report published in 'market and market' (Report Code: AGI 7625). Undoubtedly, this commercial rise in the demand for mushroom cultivation is justifying its significant benefits.
Compared to meat and other vegetables, mushrooms are an excellent source of nutrients such as essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, proteins and folic acid. It is richer in proteins and accounts for 19% to 35% protein content, with its quality compared to animal protein. Besides, it provides lysine and tryptophan proteins, which are otherwise absent in vegetables and cereals. Its richness in iron benefits anemic patients. Its low calories, high nutrients, and anti-inflammatory components make it best suitable for diabetic and cardiovascular health patients.
The countries like Ireland, India, China, Japan, the USA, UK, Germany and Poland are the market leaders in the mushroom farming business. Globally, scientists are conducting research ranging from discovering medicinal benefits to extracting essential compounds for consumers and formulating innovative economical to sustainable farming practices for farmers. In this business, one of the best innovations in the year 2020 was that of cultivating oyster (dhingri) mushrooms in clay pots.
There is good news for all Mushroom lovers. We have now developed an innovative sustainable solution in mushroom farming. As a result, mushrooms can be grown in clay pots now. One clay pot produces one and a half kg of Mushrooms in 15 days.
The innovative sustainable solution of growing mushrooms in old clay pots was introduced by Dr. Krishna Berwa, a Scientist at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in Rajasthan, India. KVK has given us a sustainable solution to mushroom farming, which was previously grown in plastic bags.
Top five advantages of clay pottery mushroom farming
1. The use of clay pots is very beneficial to the environment because the polythene bags are discarded, which was an otherwise harmful alternative.
2. Relying on organic feed for compost converts nutritionally valueless substances like wheat or paddy straw into nutritious delicacies.
3. Reduce harvest time, labor, space and pollution.
4. Recycle agro wastes like dung and chicken manure.
5. Reuse of clay pots is successful in providing economic benefits to the farmers.
How to produce mushroom in clay pots?
In an old clay pot, drill 15 to 20 holes in a certain distance. After that, fill it with two and a half kg of wet compost and add 100g of mushroom seeds. Cover the mouth of the pot with a cloth to maintain the closed environment inside it. After eight to ten days, the mushroom will start coming out from the potholes. After three to four days, they will be ready for harvesting and consumption.
It is important to note that mushrooms can be grown all round the year in a closed environment by maintaining the temperature between 18° and 30°C, humidity 55 to 70%. One clay pot can be used thrice for mushroom cultivation, giving the production of one and a half kg each time.
With this technique, the profit can be earned from kitchen gardening as well as commercial production of oyster mushroom. In 2020, the farmers are gaining training from KVK to scale it up at the retail upfront.
Step by step guide to commercial production of organic mushroom farming
Mushroom is a mycelium; it eats the substrate on which it is grown. So, it is crucial to choose its substrate with the utmost care when producing mushrooms for consumption. Therefore, we highly recommend an organic substrate prepared without using chemicals.
To start with the preparation of the organic substrate:
1. Wash the straw with water multiple times to remove all the dust.
2. Boil it at least for one hour in a closed container to moisturize it.
3. Keep it untouched for one hour in order to sterilize it entirely with the steam.
4. Spread it on the clean surface, add a small amount of limestone powder and keep on rolling it over time to dry it thoroughly, approximately 12 hours.
Then the compost is ready to use. Now the spawn will be used to seed the mushroom compost. Prepare the cylindrical-packet/clay-pot and perform layering of compost. Add seeds all over the layers except for the topmost. Then close it from overhead and wait till harvest.
To know the details about mushroom farming in a wholly organic manner, you can take guidance from the video's link below. (Note that the video is in Hindi language but it will be beneficial in giving you a virtual farm tour. Feel free to contact AgriBioTechX for more details).
Step by step guide to mushroom kitchen gardening
If you are new to farming and want to start your own farm, it is the best time to begin your profit-making business with this sustainable innovation technology in mushroom farming. What are you waiting for? You can start it on a small scale for your kitchen. In order to begin with kitchen mushroom farming, Miss Reshma Ranjhan (Prakriti's garden-YouTube channel) can guide you step by step in her YouTube video. She is a graduate in genetics and plant breeding from one of the reputed government institutions, namely, the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR). The link to her mushroom farming kitchen technique is given below. (The caption in her video is available in English translation. Do not forget to turn on the caption in your Youtube setting).
Mushroom farming is a profit-making agri-business which generates high revenues with minimal investment. The innovation model mentioned above in organic mushroom farming holds high potential to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a result, it not only alleviates farmers’ income (no poverty - SDG 1), but it also contributes to food security and hence, addresses SDG 2 (zero hunger) and SDG 3 (good health and wellbeing).
Tip: If you are new to mushroom farming and opting for it as a profit-making business, it is recommended to start with oyster cultivation, later on, milky and button mushroom. Use only first-generation spawn for higher yield.
Author: Dhriti Satya (Plant breeder and Biotechnologist - Cofounder of AgriBioTechX)
*Note that any link mentioned above does not sponsor this blog.