Scope for Mushroom Cultivators in India
If there is one vegetarian food item that has seen exponentially growing demand in the past decade, it is mushroom and other edible fungi. While the most common variety of mushrooms that were eaten in India was white button mushrooms, people have opened their consciousness to many other varieties and as of today, varieties like shitake, portobello, milky, oyster, and enoki mushrooms are well-loved and highly demanded by Indians, especially the urban Indians.
Besides the obvious culinary uses, many varieties are used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, thereby increasing the horizon of potential demand for mushroom cultivators who grow mushrooms commercially on a medium to large scale. Given the growing demand, the number of first-time cultivators who want to get on the mushroom farming bandwagon has been increasing swiftly. To assist aspirational mushroom cultivators like you, we have compiled some information around state-wise subsidies that you can take advantage of in your mushroom cultivation journey.
Bihar Government’s Chief Minister’s Horticulture Mission
This mission includes a multitude of subsidies that are made available to farmers of different crops that are not grown on traditional farmlands. Further, there are separate benefits that are reserved for the general category of farmers and the scheduled caste category of cultivators. Under this mission, arrangements have been made to provide subsidies on the mushroom, aromatic plant cultivation, floriculture, bee box, bee colony, plastic carat, and plastic tunnels, etc. General caste farmers will be given a subsidy of up to 70 percent. Along with this, SC and ST farmers will get a maximum subsidy of up to 90 percent, depending on what kind of plants the farmer intends to grow.
The procedure to avail of the benefits of this subsidy involves registration on the DBT portal. For any assistance, the farmers can contact the Block or District Horticulture Office. One must note that this subsidy is limited, and can only be availed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Government of Himachal Pradesh’s Department of Horticulture’s Development of Mushroom Services Scheme
As part of this scheme, the Government of Himachal Pradesh conducts a 10-day long practical training in mushroom cultivation which culminates in the registration of farmers who take this training as Registered Mushroom Cultivators. Assistance is also provided with regard to the production and supply of pasteurized mushroom compost from departmental units (- 25% to small/marginal farmers, Unemployed Graduates, 50% to S/C, S/T, and IRDP farmers) and the department also serves as a trusted supplier of quality mushroom spawn across varieties.
What makes it more of a subsidy is the fact that the training so mentioned is made available at an extremely nominal process (in the range of Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 per farmer per day) and the registration of these farmers that allows them to commercially grow mushrooms happen free of cost. Further, 100% transportation subsidy is given to the farmers for transportation of mushroom compost, up to the road head near the concerned mushroom farm.
Haryana Government’s Horticulture Department’s Scheme for Mushroom Cultivators
First launched back in 2007, there has been some element of dormancy in this scheme and the amount of money and scope that is earmarked towards assistance to mushroom cultivators is the variable every year. However, it is wise to get in touch with the Horticulture Department and directly inquire if such a provision is available in the year you intend to start your mushroom cultivation business.
Other states that have a subsidy provision for mushroom cultivators, however not elaborate (due to their changing nature):
- Maharashtra – average 30-40% subsidy provision
- Uttarakhand – 50% subsidy on spawn and fertilizers under the Integrated Horticulture Project
- Punjab – Free training in mushroom farming in collaboration with the Horticulture Department
- Meghalaya – Department of Agriculture’s Mushroom mission towards providing affordable training in mushroom cultivation and preservation
While the governments of states in India are slowly recognizing the relevance of mushroom farming and processing in growing the agri-business presence of its people, the interventions are not sufficient by any means. Additionally, whether or not there is any monetary, infrastructural, or skill-based assistance available to a mushroom farmer is hugely guided by which state he or she belongs to. Against this backdrop, certain private players have entered to provide aspiring mushroom cultivators a roadmap to follow and make their mushroom farming business dream a reality.
Rocket Skills is one such platform where you can learn mushroom farming and many other agri-based courses with a clear business focus, and at extremely affordable prices. Most of the lessons are video-based with ample demonstrations, which you can watch at your own pace from any part of the world, as long as you have a device with an internet connection. The expert trainers also conduct Q&A sessions and webinars from time to time. You can check out our mushroom farming business course here!