MNREGS workers get trained in mushroom cultivation

To make sure that paddy straw is optimally utilised after the harvest season, the Department of Agriculture and District Rural Development Agency has joined hands to impart skill training in mushroom cultivation to nearly 300 workers registered under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).

Since employment opportunities are limited in the post harvesting season for months at a stretch, the MNREGS workers are to be trained in cultivation of mushroom, considered ideal for hot weather conditions.

According to Agriculture department sources, the district generates 4.5 lakh tonnes of paddy straw after the harvest season.

Only a portion of the paddy straw gets sold or is used as feed for livestock and cattle. It is not uncommon to find paddy straw getting relegated as waste. The idea behind the training programme was to source the paddy straw and put it to productive use, according to officials.

In the first phase, 53 women were taught about construction of mushroom sheds, and the dynamics of temperature. The training programme conducted under the aegis of ATMA (Agriculture Technology management Agency) was inaugurated by District Collector Praveen P. Nair in the presence of senior officials of Agriculture Department and District Rural Development Agency.

The participants were provided hands-on exposure to the growth of mushroom in paddy bundles in controlled environment for regulation of temperature and humidity. Growth of mushroom cultivated inside a plastic film house at a temperature of around 25 -35 ° C and relative humidity of 75-80 % was explained.

The cultivation of paddy straw mushroom can be done in a thatched house and also under the shade of a tree, the participants were told. They were also oriented on technical support and market linkage.

The trainers cited studies to drive home the point that mushroom cultivation could ensure more than 60 % returns.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 12:06:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/mnregs-workers-get-trained-in-mushroom-cultivation/article31926168.ece

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