Where there’s a will there’s a way. Khurda youth Ramahari Pradhan of Chhanagiri Village under Tangi Block proved this with his success in the cultivation of mushroom farming. Ramahari, 22, is aiming high with profitable vegetable cultivation.
“My father was doing all the agriculture activity to meet our family needs. After my intermediate from Ramachandra Kalpana Mahavidyalay, Kamaguru, it became difficult to pursue graduation with my father’s limited earnings. As a young child, I used to help my father, Subash Chandra Pradhan, in mushroom cultivation and vegetable farming,” said Ramahari.
“I had a great interest in mushroom farming as it requires very less land and investment. Moreover, there is a lot of demand for mushrooms both by domestic and commercial customers,” he added.
“Initially, I faced some difficulties in mushroom cultivation but about two years back, I came to know about the Reliance Foundation Information Service (RFIS) when it was disseminating successful and proven methods of mushroom cultivation. In October 2018, in one of the mobile-based audio advisory campaigns, Reliance Foundation announced a five-day training course in mushroom cultivation at the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT).”
“I thought of taking a chance and immediately called the toll-free number of the foundation for the details. I enrolled myself at OUAT. After 10-12 days, I got a phone call confirming my training from November 12-18, 2018. The course helped me in getting proper knowledge and skills with a certificate on Mushroom Farming.”
“After the training, I laid 20 mushroom beds at regular intervals. I purchased mushroom spawn from Nirakarpur. I spent nearly Rs. 50 on each bed for buying paddy straw, mushroom spawn and other material including salts and supplements. I got a yield of around 800 grams of mushroom in each bed, cumulatively. I used to get a yield of approximately 12 Kg of mushroom every day, which fetched me a market price of Rs. 130 per kg. Cumulative sales proceeded Rs. 1500-1600 per day. After spending all the expenses I used to earn nearly Rs. 700 per day,” Ramahari said.
“Whenever I had a query or any issue about mushroom farming, I would call the Reliance Foundation toll free helpline number 1800-419-8800. The RF expert would provide me with the necessary guidance to improve my production. My journey to success began that day and I never looked back. I learnt many things from my failures and from the foundation I learnt how to hit the jackpot of success in mushroom cultivation.”
“Mushroom cultivation is a technical process. It can become a money-making proposition with the proper use of technology and expert guidance. It requires less manpower which is an advantage for a farmer. Being alone, I chose this business and got success with regular guidance from the RFIS experts. I am learning many new techniques of mushroom firming,” said the young farmer.
The proud youth is also growing brinjal, tomato, bottle gourd, ridge gourd, bitter gourd, green chilli in 15 Guntha area to get additional income through vegetable farming.
During the last cyclone, severe wind speed damaged his mushroom construction site roof constructed with paddy straw. He expects some Government schemes and subsidies to renovate and scale up his mushroom farming.