FTB Stories

How to achieve self-dependency though Mushrooms Farming

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
Amit Kumar Maurya

Amit Kumar Maurya, owner of the brand "Mushrooms Amit Maurya" was interviewed recently by Divya Kaimal on the FTB platform. Amit introduced himself as a resident of Amethi, Uttar Pradesh and currently he does Mushroom farming. His major product is button mushrooms, which he grows in winter.

How are his mushrooms different?

Divya told him that there are mushroom growers all over India then what makes his product stand out from others. He replied that he does not use any chemicals, his product is chemicals free. He produces these out of his own effort and his mushrooms are pure, he sells his mushrooms himself without any middlemen.

His mushrooms plant is 30x55 in size with standing walls and polythene coverings and it has 4 racks with 5 rows. He firstly prepares his straw, then sows the spawns, waters them and keeps them covered, till the mushrooms grow. Vidya Sagar Maurya, his guru, resident of Amethi, directed him on how to do all this. He has provided them A-Z guidelines, he told them how to look after the mushrooms.

Amit with his mushrooms

The farmer said he wanted to explain why he started farming mushrooms. He said he was educated but unemployed, he heard Prime Minster Narendra Modi's "AtmaNirbhar Bharat" slogan which meant that everyone should take up some profession. He thought for days what to do, and met Respected Vidya Sagar Maurya Ji who guided him all the way from collecting spawns, the type of spawns they should get, how to handle the straw, when to water. He guided him through all of these difficulties. First time when he did all this following the instructions his mushrooms were a little late and he got worried and talked with Guruji. He said have patience, your mushrooms will definitely grow. This year his mushrooms grew in last week of December. Throughout January, February and march his sole focus is on mushrooms. 

He said that now he wanted to talk about what we had asked earlier, about what made his mushrooms different or better. What is important in mushrooms is their size, shape, quality and brightness. It must be hard and not too soft, on touching. There are some farmers who don't look after their mushrooms properly. Sometimes their mushroom sticks are too big, sometimes the mushroom tears away, sometimes there are holes or spots on the mushrooms. This results in lowering of their price in the market. He thanks his Guruji, district officer Pramod Yadav ji and all agriculture officers were all very cooperative and useful in consultation. He said Pramod Ji gave him knowledge and direction whenever he faced any problems.

Button mushrooms

Everyone has to learn from somewhere or someone and he learnt from books, online research, from government officers and mostly from Guru Vidya Sagar Ji. Due to them he has been producing mushrooms and producing successfully. He wants the unemployed persons in the local community to come to him without inhibitions. He will give them complete knowledge. As of now, March to April is the time to purchase and collect straw, and those interested in mushrooms must do so now. He said he will try to help and guide you as much as he can. 

How and where he sells mushrooms?

When asked how and where he sells his mushrooms, Amit said that this is the biggest question for farmers over there. When he had just started farming, people asked him where will you sell them? He said today mushroom is one of those items which sells in the market effortlessly. He always sells at the Amethi market and is never able to match the demand for his mushrooms in the market. He tells his fellow farmers to grow mushrooms, good quality mushrooms and you will have no problems with sales. He started with 2-3 Kilograms of mushrooms, but now people follow him to his house for fresh mushrooms. He is never able to complete the orders that he gets. He says give me 1-2 quintals of mushrooms and he will sell them all.

He agreed with Divya that his mushrooms are something special. He said if someone eats his mushrooms once they come back and demand for more. They like the freshness and quality of my mushrooms. There is a huge market here but few producers. A large number of persons called him, contacted him but he was out of stock before the Holi day. 

When asked if he had plans to export mushrooms to other states or countries, he said he is trying to maximize his production but he is not able to meet the demands of the local market. He said he has encouraged 30-40 persons looking for work locally to start mushrooms farming. Some farmers who want to diversify their business have also joined him. Most of them have started on a small scale. If all goes well, with cooperation and unity we will succeed. If we succeed, we will have more mushrooms, we will need access to bigger markets and platforms like Krishi Jagran to promote and sell these. 

Message to fellow farmers

He said that mushrooms is an excellent item to do business with. All you have to do is focus and have patience to grow them and you will earn good profits, there will be no losses. In the beginning when you are trying to learn, you may face some difficulties. You may have some issues in first 1-2 years, but you must persevere. He said its best to start with growing mushrooms on a small scale. It's not a good idea to invest big with no knowledge or experience. Firstly, you must know everything from beginning till end of mushrooms farming like temperature maintenance, proper watering of straw. Vegetative growth, in the initial phase is extremely important as it is directly related to productivity, is something you must focus on. Vegetative growth is what troubled him initially, problem he was able to handle with the help of his Guruji. 

Online sales and plans for future

We asked him if he was thinking about sales through Online portals. He said if any e-commerce businessmen wanted to contact him, he is more than willing to work with them. He hopes his mushrooms will reach all corners of the country and farmers would be encouraged to take up mushrooms farming. He will not only sell his own mushrooms but those of farmers who are in his group. Unemployment problem locally will be resolved. He is open to offers even for exports.

Finally, we asked him about his plans for the future. He said before becoming popular with the general public, mushrooms as a food item were available to the elite of the society and available in limited quantity. Slowly as demand for these grew locally, we increased production. He said scope for mushroom farming and business is unlimited, all you need to do is work hard. He says to everyone to grow mushrooms, on any scale, become self-dependent. Click here to see the video.

Amit Kumar Maurya

Amit Kumar Maurya

Amethi, Uttar Pradesh

Amit Mushroom

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