Rural farmers and youth trained on Organic Spawn Production and Oyster Mushroom Cultivation Technology at ICAR-NOFRI, Tadong

Twenty one farmers including men and women from 5 different places viz., Lindok, Pangthang, Yangthang, Pakyong and Rumtek, East Sikkim were trained on Organic Spawn Production and Oyster Mushroom Cultivation Technology providing them an opportunity to carve out a livelihood option for themselves. Mushrooms which have been referred to as alternative source of food and have abundant opportunities in the biodiversity rich state of Sikkim. Mushrooms have been consumed by man with delicacy probably, for their texture and pleasing flavor. They have rich nutritional value with high content of proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibres, trace elements and low/no calories and cholesterol. Many of them have been used in folk medicine for thousands of years. In recent times, mushroom cultivation has become popular not only due to the nutritional benefits but also because it strengthens the livelihood of the growers having no or insufficient land. ICAR-National Organic Farming Research Institute, Tadong has been playing a pivotal role in developing and popularizing scientific organic oyster mushroom and its spawn production technology among the farmers of Sikkim. This premier institute conducted a five-day organic Organic Spawn Production and Oyster Mushroom Cultivation Technology for entrepreneurship development for the rural youth and women folk of Sikkim during March 14-18th, 2019.

The training was organized in several technical sessions where the participants had an overview of the current scenario and scope of organic spawn and mushroom production in Sikkim. They also had hands on exposure to preparation of mushroom cultures, production of mushroom spawn and beds. Besides, there were technical sessions on pest and disease management, maintenance and storage of mushroom beds, post-harvest processing and value addition in mushrooms. The trainees also had an opportunity to visit the ICAR Research Farm where they were briefed about the ongoing agricultural research and technologies developed at the ICAR-NOFRI.

During the programme, Dr. Shweta Singh, Scientist (Plant Pathology) and Co-ordinator of the training detailed the about the various activities to be undertaken during the five-day training. She also explained them about the mushroom cultivation principles and practices and the spawn production technology developed at ICAR-NOFRI. The management of pests and diseases hampering mushroom production was illustrated extensively by Dr. Chandramani Raj, Scientist (Plant Pathology). Dr. Ashish Yadav, Senior Scientist (Horticulture) emphasized on the post-harvest processing of mushroom and the benefits that can be accrued from it. Dr. Raghavendra Singh, Senior Scientist (Agronomy) discussed about the mushroom cultivation in Integrated Farming System. Diversification of substrate material for organic oyster mushroom cultivation was given in detail by Dr. Sudip Kumar Dutta, Scientist (Horticulture). An elaborate explanation of the infrastructure development and economics for profitable cultivation of oyster mushroom cultivation was dealt by Dr. Manoj Kumar, SMS (Agronomy), KVK, East Sikkim. Mrs. Anushree Gogoi, KVK, East Sikkim talked on value addition and hands on preparation of value added products of mushroom. At the end of the training, the participants were provided with necessary inputs like spawn packets, plastic bags and other small resources to encourage them to take up mushroom cultivation.


Issued by: Joint Director, ICAR-NOFRI