The Govt will spen 50 cores in the ‘Mushroom Mission’ for a period of 5 years: Banteidor

Shillong, Nov 05: The first ever Mushroom Festival of the State themed ‘Mushroom Cultivation for Income Generation’ was held here today at All Saints’ Hall which was graced by Minister, Agriculture & Horticulture etc Banteidor Lyngdoh as the Chief Guest.

Speaking during the Inaugural Function, Minister, Banteidor Lyngdoh, said that the Government of Meghalaya envisages that the implementation of the Meghalaya Mushroom Mission aims to scale up mushroom production in a mission mode to exploit the full potential of the sector and bring about economic prosperity and livelihood security to the mushroom farming community of the State.

He added that due to its high value and low characteristic, availability of a growing local market and its potential for export the Mushroom Mission would expand the cultivation of Mushroom in the State adding that the target to be achieved under the mission will increase the production from the present 27 MT to 5000 MT within 5 years. The Minister further urged the mushroom farmers to participate keenly in the workshop to upscale their knowledge and skill in Mushroom Cultivation.

Earlier, Additional Chief Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner, K N Kumar informed that with just about 15 per cent of the geographical area under cultivation growing mushrooms and marketing them is a lucrative option available to the people.

He informed that the aim of having the festival is to create awareness about mushroom cultivation as an alternate income generating activity as well as an activity that can be integrated into the farm business to enhance farm income. He further added that mushroom cultivation has the potential to address the nutritional concerns of the State in terms of protein and vitamin deficiencies.

He also stated that the cultivation of mushroom is environmentally sustainable that requires small land mass and the cultivation and production does not require intensive labour therefore making it suitable farming activity for the womenfolk that can be taken up during the lean season also when temperatures are suitable for mushroom cultivation.

The Minister also released the Meghalaya Draft Mushroom Mission during the occasion. The draft mission document will be available in the website of the Department of Agriculture for the public for a month to give their suggestions and feedback before the Meghalaya Mushroom Mission is launched in December.

The main objectives of the Mission is to scale up mushroom production in the State through a cluster approach, to diversify the dietary patterns of the State so that nutrition and health of the citizens is improved, to focus on the value addition of mushroom and mushroom products for improved economic gain.

Once sufficient volumes are generated, to create adequate infrastructure and upgrade the existing production centres for provision of various services to the farmers and to build the skill  base and the capacities of potential farmers through capacity building programme.

The Mission will focus mainly on the production of Oyster Mushroom, Button Mushroom and Shiitake Mushroom. The mission will cost 50 crore for a period of 5 years. The funds for the Mission will be sourced from a number of funding agencies viz.

Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, Government of India, Megh-LAMP and the German Development Bank KfW. The mission will cover 136 villages in mushroom cultivation in all the districts of the State.

Among others present during the Inaugural Function were M N Nampui, IAS, Secretary Agriculture who delivered the Welcome Address, B Mawlong, Joint Secretary, Agriculture and Dr R K Tombisana Devi from College of Post Graduate Studies, Umiam.

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