Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Mushroom Farming: Varanasi’s women group gets success from FPO based extension delivery model

This is a better alternative to the traditional way of marketing.

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The FPO (Farmer’s Producer Organization) based extension delivery model is helping to increase the income of women farmers. To take full advantage of its potential, ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi, took the initiative under the concept of the ‘Training to Marketing Model’ in mushroom farming. After training through this, the women doing mushroom farming associated with the FPO did not have to work hard to sell their produce. The oyster mushroom was sold for a good price through ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi.

What is FPO?

FPO (Farmer’s Producer Organization) is a group of farmers who register themselves under the Companies Act 2013. It is usually a group of small and marginal farmers; by joining this, farmers get a good market for their crops and fertilizers, seeds, medicines, agricultural machinery, etc., at low prices and benefits the farmers, so the government is also promoting it. Through this, farmers get freedom from middlemen. Along with this, they also get the benefit of the projects issued by the government. A target has been set by the government to create 10,000 FPOs by 2023-24. The special thing is that the FPO will be registered under the Companies Act, so they will get all the benefits a company gets. Working in groups will make it easier for farmers to market their produce.

Mushroom Farming
Image Credit: icar

Women Empowerment through Mushroom Farming

A three-day residential training program on National Security and Women Empowerment through Mushroom Farming was organized in August 2021 by the ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi. 20 women farmers participated in it. Of these, ten were members of the FPO, and the remaining ten women were not associated with the FPO. These women were given practical training. After the training, the women were asked to prepare and produce mushroom bags at their homes. But after 1 month, when a team of scientists inspected the progress of mushroom farming, they found that the mushroom bags were in terrible condition.

Women associated with FPO sought help

On being unable to produce mushrooms properly, 10 women members associated with FPO came to the scientists of the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi. They told them that they had forgotten many things after the training. Due to this, the management of mushrooms could not be done properly. He requested to organize a training program again. The thing to note in this case is that not all 20 women could produce mushrooms.  Only 10 women associated with the FPO came to the scientists of the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi. The scientists conducted a one-day workshop for 10 selected women and gave them all the necessary information. After this, the women started mushroom production again, and there was a bumper production this time.

Mushroom Farming
Image Credit: ICAR

Oyster Mushroom Production

These women associated with FPO of Varanasi produced oyster mushroom. Scientists were also happy to see their bumper production. Although oyster mushroom is less popular than other mushrooms, its demand in the market is also less. In such a situation, instead of being happy with the bumper mushroom production, the women were worried about its marketing. It was a challenging task. Then came the idea of ​​marketing through Indian Vegetable Research Institute, Varanasi.

Women came to Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi with mushrooms. Here all the mushrooms were sold at the rate of Rs.100 per kg. Apart from this, he marketed mushrooms around banks, post offices, schools and colleges. After this ‘Institutional Marketing Model’ was created for Oyster Mushroom. Along with this, a link was made by contacting such entrepreneurs who have started the business of making value addition products from mushrooms. These entrepreneurs produce pickles, chutney, mushroom powder, etc. from mushrooms and they buy raw mushrooms from the women’s group. A group of 16 women earned Rs 25,300 from mushroom production from October 2021 to February 2022 after seed domestic use.

Mushroom Farming
Image Credit: ICAR

Inspired by joining FPO

When women associated with FPOs work together in a group, they are motivated to move forward. And when they work together, they find different ways to market the product.

Also Read: Modern Farming: How Amarjeet Kaur became a successful farmer by adopting 3 cropping patterns

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