A master plan to promote mushroom cultivation in a big way is being devised exclusively for the self-help groups (SHGs) in Madurai district.

The district administration is preparing a plan to provide training for SHG members in mushroom cultivation, C. Kamaraj, District Collector, has said.

“Last week, we already had a preliminary meeting with the officials of Horticulture Department in this regard. We will meet the SHG members soon and finalise a mechanism to conduct training for them,” he said during his visit to the Agricultural College and Research Institute (ACRI) here on Sunday.

Addressing a joint press conference along with the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor P. Murugesa Boopathy, the District Collector said that training sessions would be conducted for the SHGs in a pahsed manner at various places. “We will have discussions with the District Lead Bank Manager and Project Officer (Mahalir Thittam) on how best the district administration could extend support for mushroom cultivation,” Mr.Kamaraj said. The Collector stressed that marketing support and imparting technical knowhow are essential for the SHG members. Whether banks can come forward to support eligible members would be examined.

Course

Responding to a query, the TNAU Vice-Chancellor said that mushroom cultivation suits every district and the university is offering a six-month certificate course for interested persons.

10 contact classes

There will be 10 contact classes for the candidates during this six-month period and they would be conducted at the nearest place convenient for the candidates, he said.

V. Valluva Paridasan, Director (Open and Distance Learning), TNAU, K. Vairavan, Dean, ACRI and P. Banumathi, Dean, Home Science College and Research Institute, Madurai, were among those present at the meeting.

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