In the past decade, many working professionals and students alike have gravitated towards mushroom farming as a viable side hustle and managed to reek in lakhs of rupees. And rightly so, mushroom farming has seen an upward trend in terms of how frequently first-time agripreneurs are starting a commercial mushroom cultivation venture, as well as the growing demand in the final and intermediate consumer market.
While the most obvious use of mushrooms is seen in the culinary industry, processed foods, FMCG, and households, mushrooms are also gaining popularity in the pharmaceutical industry and expanding the scope of sales for those who’re cultivating mushrooms in a commercial space. Mushrooms are fortified with rare minerals and the medicinal qualities of certain mushroom varieties are highly prized.
While the global market is expected to reach over $50 billion by 2028 due to the increasing demand, the leaders in this domain seem to be the more developed nations, including the USA, Italy, Netherlands, and China. India has identified the MSME space as the most viable segment of the entrepreneurial community and is pushing more and more people to take it up by educating entrepreneurial people about the various licenses (FSSAI registration, trade license, etc.) and GST registration-related compliances. There are also plenty of online courses available in this space, and they seem to cover the A-Z of mushroom farming for the modern agripreneur.
Check out Rocket Skills’ Mushroom Farming course here.
What do you need to set up a mushroom farm?
Given its earning potential, the cost of setting up gets offset in a matter of months, sometimes even weeks, which is far less than any other mainstream agricultural product. For instance, if you are looking to set up a small-scale mushroom farm to test waters, something as small as a 250 square-foot room can give you a yield of over 10 kg of mushrooms. You must however note that if you’re starting on a tight budget, you might not have the kind of storage infrastructure that mushrooms usually require.
Varieties like oyster mushrooms have a shelf life of around 4-5 days without industrial temperature-controlled storage, while varieties like the milky mushroom are much more forgiving, and last 7-12 days, depending upon the climate in your region.
We have a more detailed guide that enumerates the exact 6 steps that you can perform to start your mushroom farm. Click here to read it!
The minimum infrastructure that you need is a room with some sort of temperature control mechanism. Most varieties of mushrooms famous in India demand a temperature range of 20-30 degrees Celsius and a dark room, as the process of spawning is photosensitive. Some varieties like the straw mushroom demand a much lower temperature and prolonged cooling to sprout well, so it is advisable to go with the variety that suits your climate, otherwise, invest in a micro-climate system.
Many varieties like the button mushroom, oyster mushroom, etc. can be grown in plastic bags which are often suspended from the roof to maximize surface area. The mushroom equivalent of seeds is the spawn that is available either inactive or dormant form, alongside the substrate (made of straw, sawdust, etc.) which is the equivalent of soil for growing mushrooms. Also, certain varieties of mushrooms are more forgiving with about concerning the kind of material you use in your substrate, so it is advised that you start with the more robust varieties, get a hang of how things work and once you’re more seasoned, venture into the more intricate varieties which require much more tender loving care.
The earning potential?
While the earning potential varies vastly from one variety to another, the average earning potential out of a kilo of mushrooms is anywhere between Rs. 300 to Rs. 350, wherein on average, you can expect to offset around Rs. 100 to Rs. 150 as costs. This leaves you with a profit of around Rs. 200 per kilo and this profit is much bigger for varieties like shiitake, portobello, etc.
In medicinal varieties, while the costs increase manifold, the profit jumps up exponentially and you can expect to earn much higher margins. However, you must keep in mind that medicinal varieties are much more high maintenance in terms of the micro-climatic and storage conditions they require, and also have sophisticated infrastructure needs and it is advisable to move on to these varieties once you’ve become a seasoned mushroom cultivator (or if you have a high budget to outsource the technical part of the deal to experts).
Speaking of experts, Rocket Skills has tied up with the best of experts in the mushroom farming industry in India, who come with technical knowledge as well as business knowledge to make any agripreneur’s beginning into the journey of mushroom cultivation a profitable one. You can check out what our expert has to say about mushroom farming in 2021 here. We also urge you to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get an industry insider perspective on the latest trends in commercial farming and modern farming.
While we cover everything in our online course, we also include live webinars and Q&A sessions with our expert trainers so that you can get a full classroom feel and have your queries resolved in real-time. You’re also added to a chat group with peers in the business and experts as well, and additionally, for those who wish to receive a more personalized experience, Rocket Skills provides consultancy services that are akin to hand-holding all through the crop cycle and extremely coveted by serious entrepreneurs. We’re including a link to our mushroom farming playlist here and hoping that you’ll have a brilliant mushroom cultivation journey ahead!
To check out our courses, visit www.rocketskills.in today!
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