GAYA: In order to help farmers earn a regular income, Rajesh Singh, a farmer from Gaya turned entrepreneur by establishing a unit to grow mushrooms using wheat straw and air conditioners.
Mushroom which is generally grown in winters is being grown indoors using compost supplemented with wheat bran under low temperature provided with air conditioners. Wheat bran is used as a substrate for the cultivation of mushrooms.
"To help farmers earn a regular income, I established this unit. We grow mushrooms using available raw materials like straw. Since it's a winter vegetable, we use AC temperature (installed AC) to balance the temperature, "told Rajesh Singh to ANI.
He further said "The idea was to make in-house mushrooms and employ farmers, who don't earn on a regular basis. With this unit, I am able to help them earn sustainably. Demand for our mushrooms is high, sometimes, more than the produce".
" I come from an agriculture family and after doing the job for 15 years, I thought of doing something like this which will not only create employment for me but for others also. So started this business in 2016. Earlier we used to create compost only but from 2020 we started our own production and are producing 200-300 kg of mushrooms per day," added Singh.
Talking about his future plans, Singh said "Mushroom is a very good source of nutrition as it has many minerals and vitamins and is also safe for the environment and health. I am training farmers including women of my area to help them start this business as this can be started in a small place and require only wheat straw as the main raw material which farmers have easily."
Hailing the government's initiative of providing 50 per cent subsidy to establish small units, he said, "The government also provides subsidies up to 50 per cent on setting up of the unit and there is a huge demand for mushrooms in local market and across the country".