Mushrooms

Meghalaya offers great potential for production of Mushroom. A Regional Centre for Training and Production of Mushroom in North Eastern Region sponsored by the North Eastern Council was established in February 1982 at the Agricultural Complex, Upper Shillong. The major aims and objectives of this centre are:

* Production and supply of quality spawn.
* Provide training facilities to interested entrepreneurs for mushroom cultivation.
* Preparation of sterilised compost.
* Dehydration and marketing facilities.

The Centre is currently concentrating on the production and extension of

* Agaricus spp (White Button Mushroom) and
* Pleurotus spp (Dhingri / Oyster Mushroom).

Of all the different mushrooms that can be grown by the farmers, these two varieties have the best market potential.

Cultivation of mushroom in homestead is becoming very popular because of high yield and the remunerative price that it fetches. At present there are mushroom farmers all over Meghalaya identified as trained growers, and training sessions are being held regularly in villages in all the districts of the State.

The Regional Centre for Training and Production of Mushroom in Upper Shillong is currently concentrating on the production of Dhingri/Oyster Mushroom in contrast to Button Mushroom for the following reasons:

*   Dhingri/Oyster mushroom is amendable to dehydration but not Button Mushroom.
*   Dehydration technology is simple and cheap for Dhingri/Oyster mushroom. Therefore, they are much cheaper than Button mushroom, which on the other hand, can only be canned.
*   Canning technology for Button mushroom is sophisticated and expensive and therefore the ultimate retail price is much higher than that of Oyster mushroom.

Meghalaya produces annually about 5(five) metric tonnes of fresh mushroom, which are marketed locally. The production starts from March to October.
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