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ICAR-NOFRI concludes three days Hands on training on “Organic Oyster Mushroom Cultivation”

 

Mushrooms often referred to as alternative source of food has been a customary commodity of consumption 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 growing is becoming 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 under the dynamic leadership of Dr. R. K. Avasthe, Joint Director has been playing a pivotal role in developing and popularizing scientific organic oyster mushroom and its spawn production technology among the farmers of Sikkim. The premier institute conducted a three day organic oyster mushroom production training for entrepreneurship development for the rural farmers, women folk and youth of Sikkim from 05-07 December, 2017. The participating farmers and youth showed keen interest in mushroom production and a total of 15trainees participated from different parts of East Sikkim.

The training was organized in several technical sessions where the participants had an overview of the current scenario and scope of 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.

The training program had been inaugurated along with the World Soil Health Day on 5th December, 2017 by Shri B.B. Rai, Hon’ble MLA (Namcheybong-Sikkim); Smt. S. L. Dorjee, Director (Agriculture), FSADD and Dr. Yashoda Pradhan, Chief Executive Officer, SSOCA, Govt. of Sikkim were also present on the occasion. The Chief Guest, Shri B. B. Rai emphasized on the economic and social importance of mushrooms in the communities of Sikkim and called upon the farmers to take up mushroom cultivation as a good option for sustaining a healthy livelihood.During the programme, Dr. Shweta Singh, Scientist, (Plant Pathology) and Co-ordinator of the training detailed the relevance of organic oyster mushroom cultivation in Sikkim and practically demonstratedthe mushroom cultivation technology developed at ICAR-NOFRI. The availability of different appropriate substrates, their utilization and economics in mushroom cultivation was explained by Dr. Raghvendra Singh, Senior Scientist (Agronomy). The management of pests and diseases hampering mushroom production was illustrated extensively by Dr. Chandramani Raj, Scientist(Plant Pathology) and Dr. N. Johnson Singh, SMS (Plant Protection). Dr. AshishYadav, Senior Scientist (Horticulture) emphasized on the post-harvest processing of mushroom and the benefits that can be accrued from it. A demonstration on how to manage, store and maintain of oyster mushroom beds to obtain good yield of mushroom was dealt by Mr. Boniface Lepcha, SMS (Horticulture). Mrs. AnushreeGogoi, KVK, East Sikkim explicated that value can be added to the mushrooms at various levels, right from preservation, grading to the readymade snacks or the main-course item.The trainees were enlightened about making of various mushroom products like mushroom pickle, soup, nuggets, cookies, ketchup, candy and several other preservatives.

The valedictory session held on 7th December, 2017 was chaired by Dr. R. P Mishra, Dean, CAEPHT, CAU, Ranipool. Dr. Mishra in his address to the trainees emphasized the role of mushroom cultivation and its scope for livelihood and nutritional security of the people of Sikkim. Dr. Ashish Yadav highlighted various aspects of mushroom production learnt during the training programme and also emphasized the societal and economic role which the mushroom production is expected to play in the near future. Dr. Raghavendra Singh briefed the chief guest about the different activities taken up during the three day training programme and encouraged the farmers to take up mushroom cultivation to larger scale. On this occasion, Mr. Zeigmei D. Bhutia and Ms. Dhama Lhamu Lepcha among the trainees expressed their happiness towards the endeavour put forth by ICAR-NOFRI. Certificates and mushroom spawn packets were distributed to all the trainees during the program. The valedictory function concluded with vote of thanks by Dr. Shweta Singh. The inaugural and valedictory function was co-ordinated by Sh S.M. Kandwal, Technical Officer, ICAR-NOFRI. Mr. Adarsh Kumar, Ms. Zangmit Lepcha, Ms. Sujata Rai and Mr. Phurba Tamang assisted in organizing the program.

Issued by Joint Director, ICAR-NOFRI