Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Meet Toshan Kumar, known practitioner of mushroom cultivation

Mushroom cultivation needs hard work and dedication


Toshan Kumar Sinha not only provides free training in mushroom cultivation but also provides seeds to farmers at low rates.

The government is promoting mushroom cultivation in a big way. There is a reason for this too. By cultivating its different varieties, farmers can earn good income throughout the year. Many people are also promoting this government campaign at their own level. One of them is Toshan Kumar Sinha, a resident of Kurra village in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh. In this article, we will tell you how Toshan is promoting mushroom cultivation in his area. Till now, he has given training to more than thousand women and this process is continuing unabated. In a special conversation with Kisan of India, Toshan shared his experiences related to mushroom cultivation and explained in detail about what the farmers should take care of.

The bright idea of ​​mushroom cultivation 

Toshan Kumar Sinha, a graduate from B.Sc Agriculture, read about mushrooms when he was in his second year. Since those days he built interested in mushroom cultivation. He found that if mushroom cultivation is done well, there is a lot of potential in it. Describing about the Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh, Toshan says that the problem of stubble is more in his area. The stubble is either fed to animals or burnt. He learned that this can be used as straw in mushroom cultivation.

mushroom cultivation
Image Credit: Toshan Kumar Sinha

Initial investment of 25 thousand rupees 

While doing college, Toshan started mushroom farming. He made an investment of Rs 25 thousand. He started from his own home. Every saturday he would come from Dhamtari to his village Kurra and after planting mushrooms, the next day he would go back to Dhamtari for his studies. The family members would then sell the produce in the market.

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Removed the seed problem of his area 

In 2015, Toshan thought of expanding mushroom production further while working in an NGO. Toshan remembers that the spawn of mushrooms i.e. seeds were not available in the market. The quality they got was not good. Then he also started the work of producing the right seeds on a small scale. He started developing mushroom seeds behind his house. 

As the demand for seeds increased, Toshan increased the machinery of his unit. Toshan says that at present 1 quintal i.e. 100 kg seeds are prepared in his unit in a day. Different varieties of mushrooms produce seeds depending on the season.

mushroom cultivation
Image Credit: Toshan Kumar Sinha

Provides free training from mushroom cultivation to marketing 

So far, Toshan has taught the tricks of mushroom cultivation to more than a thousand women. They give training for free. People from far flung areas, especially youths come to take training in mushroom cultivation. Toshan trains people free of cost and also provides mushroom seeds at a lower price than the market.

Made women self-reliant

Toshan is working towards making women self-reliant. He has formed Self Help Groups (SHGs) in many villages. He gives information related to mushrooms to the women associated with them. Apart from this, the women of several NGOs run by the government are provided seeds being prepared in the unit of Toshan. Toshan also gives training related to mushroom cultivation to the employees of the state agriculture department.

mushroom cultivation
Image Credit: Toshan Kumar Sinha

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Now we will work on the goal of increasing income from food processing 

Toshan’s next goal is to further improve the marketing system for women. He has started working on this. Toshan says that in many areas including Dhanteri, Kanker district, women are facing difficulty in selling mushroom produce. If 5 to 10 women of the same village are producing mushroom, then there is a problem of fall in the price. For this Toshan is thinking of organizing women together and opening a store. With this, women will not have to wander here and there to sell their produce. Along with this, the goal is also to process the mushroom and add it to the by-products made from it like namkeen, badi, papad, etc.

Adopt technology by region 

Toshan cultivates mushrooms by the method of tying a rope. In this, the straw bag is tied with the help of ropes. Toshan says that farmers can raise their resources only from the things available around them. Giving examples, Toshan explains that bamboo is expensive in his village, so he hangs mushroom bags using a rope. On the other hand, wood is cheap in Kanker district, so he advises the farmers there to cultivate mushroom by bamboo method. Today, from mushroom production to its seed production, they earn a direct profit of about 40 thousand rupees every month.

mushroom cultivation
Image Credit: Toshan Kumar Sinha

Toshan’s tips: If you adopt short cut then you will be harmed 

Giving advice to the farmer colleagues who are cultivating mushrooms, Toshan says that most of the youth come to him to get information about mushroom cultivation. They see its profits, but avoid the time it takes to learn its nuances. Toshan says that after climbing one ladder, people want to climb straight to the fourth step. This is not the case in agriculture. Everything you have to do step by step, that is, one step at a time.

Image Credit: Toshan Kumar Sinha
mushroom cultivation

If you know the nuances then there will be profit

Toshan explains that unless the farmer understands mushroom cultivation, he cannot earn profit. Knowing its nuances, you can earn employment and good income. Of those who start mushroom cultivation, 80 percent leave in the middle, only 20 percent move forward. Therefore, one should get into mushroom cultivation only after careful consideration.

mushroom cultivation
Image Credit: Toshan Kumar Sinha

Start mushroom cultivation only after proper training

Toshan alerts not to fall under anyone’s delusion. There are many companies that dream big, while the ground reality is completely different. Toshan says that the packets of 10 kg seeds available there for Rs.1500, these companies sell for Rs.5 thousand to 6 thousand. 

He is of the opinion that for accurate information on mushroom cultivation, contact the agricultural officers of your area and scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra. If a nearby farmer is cultivating mushrooms, then go to him. Proceed only after taking training from somewhere. 


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