Mushroom Cultivation - A Pathway to Economic Sustainability in Doon Valley of Uttarakhand

Ms. Hiresha Verma, an IT Professional turned well-known Mushroom grower and successful Entrepreneur in Charba Village of Dehradun owns a Mushroom Company by the name of “HanAgrocare”, Dehradun.

The non-lucrative practice of the traditional farming of Wheat Paddy and Vegetables forced the villagers to leave for the urban areas in search of better income opportunities. To provide the villagers with the opportunities to earn better income at their native place only made Ms. Hiresha to switch herself for becoming an Entrepreneur in the field of Agriculture.

Starting Mushroom Cultivation in 2013 with Oyster in her servant quarter with 25 bags, she got good results. On investing Rs. 2,000, she earned Rs. 5,000. The cultivation of Milky Mushrooms fetched her with encouraging results. Ms. Hiresha underwent training on Mushroom farming and learnt about the popular varieties from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

Mushroom Cultivation - A Pathway to Economic Sustainability in Doon Valley of Uttarakhand  Mushroom Cultivation - A Pathway to Economic Sustainability in Doon Valley of Uttarakhand

During her training at the ICAR-Directorate of Mushroom Research, Solan, and Himachal Pradesh in 2014, she approached the Department of Mushroom, Dehradun for Compost & Seeds and NHM & NHB for financial support. She started actual work in three bamboo huts with 500 bags in each hut for the Cultivation as pilot project at Village Charba, Langa Road, Dehradun.

Although she faced a number of problems and challenges, but her determination never let her down in achieving her targets.

She got the yield of 15% in these huts and then she did two cycles of Oyster Mushroom and for two years did seasonal cultivation while rotating the mushroom types according to the suitable temperature. After carrying out the seasonal growing for four years she got confident enough to scale-up for round the year production.

Mushroom Cultivation - A Pathway to Economic Sustainability in Doon Valley of Uttarakhand  Mushroom Cultivation - A Pathway to Economic Sustainability in Doon Valley of Uttarakhand

The overwhelming results motivated her for some new innovations in Mushroom Cultivation that made her visit the different Institutions to learn the various techniques. She made her own in-house Compost and supplies the same to other Mushroom growers all over the hilly regions of Uttarakhand including the remote places like Gopeshwar.

Ms. Hiresha's passion and hard work succeeded in realizing her dreams and now, she owns a Mushroom Farm equipped with Modern production equipments and facilities in Charba with the production capacity of 1 Ton per day that provided employment to 15 people and trained more than 2,000 women and farmers on Hills in Mushroom Production. She also diversified in growing Medicinal Mushrooms like Shitake and Ganoderma that are anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-oxidant.

Starting with a meager seasonal quantity of 20 Kg per day and today, she is a true Entrepreneur with round the year production with scientific lines inside 10 AC Rooms and technology equipped plantS with the production capacity of 1,000 Kg per day.

She is also making Value-Added Products of Mushrooms like Pickle, Cookies, Nuggets, Soup, Protein Powder, Tea, Papad, etc. Now, Ms. Hiresha is helping farmers to grow Mushrooms in the hilly areas of Tehri, Pauri and Garhwal.

As an Entrepreneur, she wants to put her utmost efforts in the field of Mushroom Production, Consumption and Marketing. For her efforts, Ms. Hiresha has received many honors and awards from the various national and international organizations.

(Source: Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Dehradun, Uttarakhand)