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Invested only Rs 500 in mushrooms, this Samba farmer is grooming 20000 entrepreneurs

Last Updated on June 6, 2022 at 7:33 pm

Mushroom farming expert Pushpinder Singh from Kartholi, Bari Brahmana invested only Rs 500 and started growing mushrooms inside his house using unique methods.

Over a decade ago mushroom fungi vegetable was a lesser-known vegetable in Samba town. According to national figures, the Samba town output of mushroom farming was zero and it continued that way until 2015 when the trend picked up.

But Pushpinder Singh was ahead of his time as he learnt to grow them in 2010 from his father.

Staying ahead of the curve also meant that mushrooms were not in demand and he had to create a market and struggle to attract customers. But this day, his efforts have paved the way for his success and many more.

It began when his father Jagdish Singh, a farmer, learned about a mushroom farming programme being organised by the Agriculture Department at Samba’s Kartholi village. “My father did not want me to sit idle at home and encouraged me to spend time in a productive activity,” Pushpinder tells.

So, Pushpinder , a diploma holder, accompanied his Father for the six-day training workshop on Mushroom Cultivation organised by the Department of Agriculture. And it was that training that helped him become a successful entrepreneur and empower  thousands of other youth of his area.

Mushroom Revolution

After completing the training, Pushpinder started growing mushrooms with a minimal investment of Rs 500 with bare minimum  free space inside their 600 sq feet house. “I grew mushrooms under the bed or in the corner . I used wheat husks and rotten hay balls as the medium to grow the fungi,” says the 36 year-old Mushroom Farmer.

He would pack the material in a polythene bag and arrange the balls in a row. “It would create optimum humid conditions and I succeeded in growing them. Initially, I grew and cooked them in home as a vegetable dish. After gaining confidence, I decided to grow them on commercial scale,” Pushpinder says.

At present, people from neighbouring districts also approach Pushpinder to undergo training in mushroom farming. “Now, Women & men also come to learn mushroom farming. There have been instances when town folk have come to me for a 10-day training course,” he shares.

Pushpinder says, “People don’t need to come to me. The government and other individuals organise many workshops throughout the year and teach the same techniques. I feel happy as long as many people benefit from the same.”

The training and sales from the mushroom earn him Rs 16 lakh a year.

Pushpinder has started processing mushrooms to make them into pickles, powder, biscuits and samosa snacks. “On many occasions, the mushrooms perish due to a short shelf-life. So rather than letting them go to waste, some youth and I dry the mushrooms to convert them into powder. The powder can then be used in multiple food products,” he says.