Punjab produces half of mushrooms produced in India

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Moga, Feb 10 (UNI) Emphasising the growing popularity of mushroom cultivation in the state, Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) experts said Punjab accounts for about 50 per cent of the total mushrooms produced in the country.

While addressing the farmers at Krishi Vigyan Kendera in Budh Singh Wala in the district yesterday, Mr P K Khanna and Mr S Kapoor, scientists, PAU, Department of Microbiology, said, ''more than 400 farmers in the state are engaged in musroom cultivation as it is emerging as one of the promising and profitable enterprises and is being taken up as one of the agro-allied professions.'' PAU has developed four good quality mushroom varieties recommended for seasonal cultivation under Punjab conditions. These are Button Mushroom, Oyster Mushroom or Dhingri Mushroom for winter months from October to March and Paddy Straw Mushroom and Milky Mushroom for summer months from April to September.

The PAU scientists said mushroom cultivation being an in-door crop does not require arable land and can be carried out on a small non-agricultural land where the mushroom farm can be set up.

Addressing the farmers Chief Agriculture Officer Palwinder Singh Aulakh urged them to follow the guidelines given by the PAU experts for getting maximum returns.

''Cultivation and consumption of mushrooms should be encouraged as it contain varied amount of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. It contain 20-30 per cent protein which is twice that of vegitables,'' he said.

UNI PS JN SR KN1657

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