September 5: Of late, attraction towards the mushroom farming is increasing in Nepal.
Since mushroom cultivation can be done with low investment and it can generate good profits in a short period, farmers have been attracted to the mushroom farming.
With the increasing attraction among farmers in Nepal, modern techniques for mushroom farming have also been introduced. With the introduction of modern technologies, the production of mushroom has also increased, say farmers.
Plantation of the mushroom started off some 47 years ago in Nepal. The framing of white mushroom began in 1977.Oyster mushroom farming, on the other hand, started in 1984.
Research and studies on mushroom in Nepal began in 1974. Then, scientists from the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) had initiated research and studies on mushroom.
Initially, mushroom was cultivated in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur alone, but now it has expanded across the country. In the last 10 years, mushroom production in Nepal has seen a significant increase.
According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, mushroom production has increased by 766% in the past 10 years. In the fiscal year 2012/13, there were 1,650 metric tons of fresh mushroom produced, and this number reached 14,300 metric tons in 2021/22.
Moreover, mushroom seed production has also increased. In 2012/13, 289,624 bottles of mushroom seeds were produced, whereas in 2021/22, the production reached 1,347,832 bottles.
Santosh Karki, the President of the Mushroom Producers' Association of Nepal, attributes the introduction of new technologies to growth in mushroom production. "Currently, our production meets 80% of the mushroom demand. The rest is imported from countries like India,” Karki said.
According to Karki, there are currently 30,000 to 35,000 farmers involved in mushroom farming in Nepal. Various mushroom species, such as Kanye, Gobre, and Rajalagayat, are being produced in Nepal.
Karki suggests that the government should provide subsidies based on production to encourage mushroom farming in the country.
“Since Nepal has potential to produce many species of edible mushroom, the government should start research on mushroom farming”, Karki added.
If the government encourages mushroom farming, Nepal can become self-reliant in mushroom and even can export it, Karki opined.