English | Dzongkha Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Growing demand for mushroom spawn in the east

Tshering Zam, Trashigang
Dec 7, 2018

As more farmers in eastern dzongkhags take up mushroom cultivation, the demand for mushroom spawn has been increasing over the years. And meeting their demands has been a challenge for the only Mushroom Spawn Production Unit in the east at Khangma in Trashigang.

To address the issue, the unit is training the farmers in mushroom spawn production. The unit recently conducted Oyster mushroom spawn production training, the first of its kind. Three farmers from Samdrup Jongkhar and Monggar attended the training.

The participants were taught all the procedures of spawn production, from preparing solutions to tissue culture.

“We have been importing the mushroom spawns from India. Now after attending the training here, I want to produce my own spawns and supply it even to other farmers,” Nandi Pokhrel, one of the participants, said.

“After the training, I want to start mushroom farming,” Sonam Tenzin, another participant said.

At present, the spawn production unit produces both Oyster and Shiitake mushroom spawns which are supplied to farmers and cooperatives. In a year, the unit produces about 7000 bottles of Shiitake spawns and 5000 oyster spawns.

“With three farmers undergoing the Oyster mushroom spawn production, we are hopeful that it will help in meeting the demands for mushroom spawns in the east. It is an opportunity for them to make some income as well, ”Tshering Dorji, the Senior Extension Supervisor of the unit, said.

The training is conducted with support from Commercial Agriculture and Resilient Livelihoods Enhancement Programme (CARLEP). The trained farmers will be given the required equipment to start the production for free of cost.

The unit is now planning to focus only on producing Shiitake mushroom spawns and outsource the production of Oyster spawns in the coming years.

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