The increasing trend of mushroom farming, growing of fleshy and edible fruit bodies of several species of macrofungi, is not only serving as a source of livelihood for people hard pressed in prevailing economic recession but also promotes the intake of health and nutritious food among people
PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 25th Jan, 2023 ) :The increasing trend of mushroom farming, growing of fleshy and edible fruit bodies of several species of macrofungi, is not only serving as a source of livelihood for people hard pressed in prevailing economic recession but also promotes the intake of health and nutritious food among people.
“Customers are showing interest in this food which is new as it being introduced in vegetable markets a couple of years earlier,” informs Diyar Khan, a shopkeeper at Vegetable Market in Firdous area of Peshawar.
People, especially city dwellers, asked about mushrooms during the four months of summer when the cultivation stops due to climatic conditions, Diyar added.
He said 250 grams of mushroom are sold at a price of Rs. 100 and has become a part of the list of the grocery of majority of homes.
Diyar also shared that the number of mushroom growers is increasing which helped in maintaining its price at reasonable rates.
“Trial base training about the cultivation of mushrooms through the modern technique of farming has generated interest among youth and women folk to opt it as a source of livelihood,” apprised Sher Muhammad, an expert in Mushroom farming who also owns a farm in Peshawar.
Training by private institutes, non-governmental organizations, is showing positive results by diverting the attention of a number of people toward this source of livelihood benefiting people of all ages and gender.
“Even women folk are also showing interest in growing mushrooms because of its easy procedure of cultivation within the premises of home,” added�Sher Muhammad who has to his credit introducing mushroom farming in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in general and Peshawar in particular by imparting guidance and training to a numerous number of people both male and female in his private capacity.
“We have recently completed training to around 30 families in Tangi area of Charsadda district and trail base production has shown good results attracting more people to join the practice and made it a vocation for themselves, said Fayaz Ahmad Coordinator Value Chain Helvetas.
Talking to APP, Fayaz informed that trainees were selected from tobacco growing area whose winter season is dormant and can easily get themselves involved in cultivating mushroom which starts growing from September to late March.
Fayaz informed that each bag has a production capacity of two kg of mushroom at a cost price of Rs. 100 per kg. While in the market, these mushrooms are easily sold at a price of Rs. 400, giving a profit of Rs. 300 to the grower.
“It can also serve as cottage industry as people can do farming in their homes on low scale,” Sher told APP.
One kg of mushroom, which takes about 35 days, can easily fetch Rs. 300 profit and an ordinary businessmen can easily produce 500 kg mushrooms at home, he disclosed.
An ordinary person can easily make an earning of Rs. 10,000 to 12,000 by growing mushroom at their home in a single small room, he claims.
Mushrooms cultivation does not require land and can be grown as a part time activity, he told and added its cultivation does not require full time labour and a family member can look after different operations easily.
In mushroom farming, the most popular type of mushrooms are grown including oyster mushroom, both while and golden, button mushroom and milky mushroom.
Sher Muhammad also stressed upon government to give consideration to mushroom farming and arrange training for locals.
He said in the wake of CPEC as a result of which a large number of Chinese and other foreigners are coming to Pakistan, the prospects of mushroom growing is also increasing because they use mushroom in their diet on daily basis.
Sher also believed that if facilities are provided, mushrooms produced in Pakistan through farming can also be sold in Gulf states.