Tuesday, April 16, 2013



Dr. Amrik Singh Sidhu, Director, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore, while inaugurating a two day Indian Mushroom Conference-2013 at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) said that India can produce 7.2 million tonnes of mushroom while providing employment to 30 lakh persons. India generates 140 million tonnes of agricultural residues annually, even if 10 per cent of this residue is utilised for mushroom production. He emphasized that though India is currently producing mushrooms on a commercial scale but there is a need to improve the productivity. He said there are more than 200 species of mushrooms but only 30 species are edible. He suggested that there is a need for producing quality mushroom seed (spawn) which is a major bottleneck hindering the growth of mushroom production in the country. For fulfilling the nutritional requirements of the masses there is a need for promoting the supply of spawned compost in small poly bags for domestic production and consumption of mushrooms. He also emphasized that India should follow the model developed by China where they have increased their production from 60 thousand tonnes to 20 million tonnes. On this occasion, Dr. Harnek Singh Garcha, former Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities was honoured with a Life Time Achievement Award for his contributions to the development of mushrooms in Punjab.

Dr. P.K. Khanna, Chairman of the Conference said that mushrooms provides a nutritious health food with ample proteins. Work on mushrooms was initiated at PAU in the early 1970\'s and it is due to the efforts of PAU that Punjab is now a leading state in the production of mushrooms in the country. The state is exporting upto 40% of the mushrooms to the United States. Dr. Khanna added that research on new varieties should be taken up for diversification in the mushroom portfolio.

In his presidential remarks, Dr. S.S. Gosal, Director of Research, PAU said Government of India has allocated Rs.2000 crore in budget this year for removal of malnutrition among masses. Mushrooms being a nutritious food can greatly help to improve the health of people. He said that in developed nations like USA, annual per capita consumption of mushrooms is 3-4 kg, whereas in India it is only 30-40 gm. Being a good source of protein and fiber, mushrooms can greatly help in controlling disease like diabetes and cancer. Dr. Gosal disclosed that the PAU has developed technologies to grow mushrooms on paddy straw.

Dr. Manjit Singh, Director, Directorate of Mushroom Research, Solan and President of Mushroom Society of India informed that PAU is the pioneer institute to evolve and popularize mushroom cultivation technology in Punjab as well as in India. Dr. U.S. Shivhare, Director, CIPHET urged the farmers of Punjab to come forward and take a lead in the processing of mushrooms, to earn more.

According to Dr. Shammi Kapoor, Senior Mycologist and Incharge Mushroom Research Complex, PAU, about 150 delegates from all over the country have come to PAU to participate in this conference
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

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