Jammu and Kashmir Govt.'s aid to mushroom cultivators yields bumper crop

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Srinagar, Jan 29(ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Government's step towards boosting mushroom production in the state by providing high quality seeds to cultivators has yielded good results.

The government had earlier listed out mushroom cultivation as a key area under the 'Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana' (National Agriculture Development Programme) scheme and the mushroom-growers were given adequate quality seeds and new cultivation techniques to improve cultivation in a big way.

The combined effort of the state Agricultural Department in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar district, and the mushroom cultivators in the valley, saw a greater mushroom yield this season in comparison to the last.

A number of production units have also opened up in the valley to meet growing demands of white mushrooms, which are popularly known as the button mushroom.

"In comparison to last year, this time we were given good quality seeds which led to increase in production of high-quality mushrooms. There is a great demand for the mushrooms now with the requirement ranging from 30-35 kilograms per day," said Noor Mohammad, a mushroom cultivator.

Under the scheme, the farmers have also been encouraged to take up mushroom cultivation training, where agricultural experts guide them through the procedures across the district.

"This year production has been very high in comparison to last year. I am confident that under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana schemes, we will be able to add 50 more units, i.e. 5000 mushroom cultivation trays, by the next spring season. For this, more farmers will be imparted formal training so that the mushroom production increases manifold next season," said Bashir Ahmad Dar, Director of Agriculture Department, Srinagar district.

In 2008, a considerable decline in mushroom yield was seen due to the use of low-grade compost that made the mushroom strains more susceptible to disease. (ANI)

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