Mushrooms are a very nutritious food. According to doctors, it is highly nutritious and disease resistant. Although the production has increased by cultivating mushrooms in the district, many people have turned away from mushroom cultivation due to lack of eating habits. Many have survived mushroom cultivation with patience and hard work.
Despite the immense potential of mushroom production in Meherpur district, the producers are facing market and consumer crisis. However, several farmers of Meherpur have got success in mushroom cultivation. Many of them including Saiful Islam, a young man from Meherpur.
Saiful did not give up even though he lost at first. After overcoming seed and technical problems, he did not have to look back. He is now a millionaire selling mushrooms. Many people are taking training in mushroom cultivation from him. The mushroom farmers demanded that the agriculture department should take initiative to increase the consumer demand including publicity about its nutritional value and benefits among the people.
Mushroom farmer Saiful Islam said he started cultivating mushrooms six years ago after returning home from a mushroom center in Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh, after three days of training. Losses have to be counted for two consecutive years due to technical problems and lack of practical training. At first I was going to stop after stumbling. Later I thought that many people are benefiting from this and there is a government initiative in mushroom cultivation. He did not stop at that consideration. For two more years he worked on seed production and fungus control. This time success is caught. He gets bumper yields using his own seeds and technology.
After selling mushrooms successfully for the last two years, he is now a millionaire. He is currently a successful entrepreneur in mushroom cultivation. The mushroom farm is known as ‘SM Mushroom House’ on about four bighas of land. Every day SM mushrooms are going to different parts of the country. Mushrooms are being sold both raw and dried. Every day 200 kg of mushrooms are available from this farm. Now the income is 60 to 70 thousand rupees per month.
Local youth Monirul Islam is working with Saiful Islam. He said that after disinfection of paddy straw, it was packed in polythene with mushroom seeds. Which is called ball cylinder. The desired mushroom comes out after spraying water by hanging this cylinder in the room. Mushrooms can be picked from one cylinder for up to 45 days.
Inspired by Saiful Islam’s mushroom cultivation, many have started using and cultivating mushrooms. Tofail Ahmed, a young man interested in consumer and mushroom cultivation, said he did not know the merits of mushrooms before. After finding out, he is using it himself and is advising others to use it. Touhid ud Daula Reza and Jurais Islam said the same thing.
Nutritionist Jannatun Nesha told the Dhaka Post that mushrooms are high in protein. People of all ages play a vital role in controlling diabetes. Fat and nothing harmful to human body. Apart from that, this disease resistant mushroom is very beneficial for the human body including meeting the demand for meat. Many are taking it as food. So mushrooms are very nutritious among other nutritious foods.
Gangni Upazila Agriculture Officer Lovely Khatun told Dhaka Post that the locals are being encouraged to cooperate in Saiful Islam’s mushroom cultivation in Gangni Upazila with all kinds of suggestions. Expansion of easily cultivable mushroom cultivation is now the demand of the time. He thinks that mushroom cultivation is a suitable way for the youth to fight unemployment.
Swapan Kumar Kha, deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension, said there was no need to lose patience in mushroom cultivation. Many people lost their patience in mushroom cultivation and retreated. Those who have patiently cultivated mushrooms are all benefiting. Gangni Saiful Islam is his example. We are also trying to market as well as produce.
He further said that people of the district have started eating mushrooms more than before. However, if the production is more, the consumer will also increase. We are working to produce and create consumers. However, we are hopeful that soon a mushroom market will be set up in Meherpur.