Button Mushroom Cultivation in Nepal

Standard Post with Image

Button Mushroom (Agaricus spp.) is the most common type of mushroom cultivated and consumed worldwide. The white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus), a member of the class Basidiomycetes, is a species that is widely grown on farms. They are both delicious and incredibly nourishing. They include additional minerals like magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, and potassium in addition to having a high fiber content and few calories. They provide a variety of health advantages, including immune system support, better digestion, heart health promotion, weight reduction encouragement, and blood pressure augmentation.

In Nepal, several farmers are involved in the production of button mushrooms. One of them is Surendra Shrestha.

Since 2055, Surendra Shrestha, who resides in Chapagaun, has been in the button mushroom business. Before this, he used to be a professional driver. Initially, he had a good harvest and was profitable. He came into this business after hearing that it was profitable. Nowadays, he is only doing button mushrooms business. He says that every month of the year, they (mushroom farmers) are able to engage in farming and harvesting. When it’s winter, they have to come down to the plains. And in the summer, they must relocate to the Highlands. It needs 17°C to 22°C to do farming. They can do it easily here in Kathmandu. From the month of Jestha, when the temperature rises up to 35°C, they need to move upward. To this date, he is satisfied. Through this business, he is managing his livelihood and raising his children easily.

Every year, new diseases emerge that they had no idea about; sometimes there are green molds and blue molds. During the off-season, they address these issues by providing air and cooling the tunnel by providing water through the roof. Nowadays, it is extremely difficult to obtain plots in urban areas; therefore, farmers relocate to the village areas. People in urban areas don’t like farming because it stinks when making compost. People in old farms take it easy as they have become habituated. Kathmandu’s local people don’t let them do farming; that’s why they move to village areas.

To make compost, first of all, they buy 1 ton of paddy straw, which they then soak in water and cover with plastic for one week. Every four days, they turn it upside down. After that, they remove the straw and make the stack by uncovering the plastic. Following the application of urea and ammonium sulfate, the stack is completed after four days. They flip it on its side.  Then apply DAP and flip it over. They keep going until the compost is finished. The compost ripens in exactly one and a half months. They finish by adding pesticides to the compost. Straw was once extremely accessible everywhere; but today, only contractors are able to do this. They already know the sellers, after all.

There is a probability that infections will exist when the weather suddenly shifts. There are two different types of mold: blue bed mold and buttery mold. When there are buttery molds, fresh air is allowed to circulate inside the tunnel, which helps in some measure to maintain the issue.

His farm can accommodate up to five ropanies. The market for button mushrooms is extremely competitive. They are partially unable to satisfy the demand. Indian mushrooms are imported in significant amounts due to the market’s high demand for button mushrooms. Due to the businessman’s decision to import it from India, they are unable to meet the market’s demand.
They lack quality mushroom seed producers here in Nepal. They supply immature spawns (seeds), and as a result, they have to wait for more days at their farm. Moreover, half of the spawn quality goes to wastage and not reliable ones. They had to accept the spawn of any quality as they were compelled to do so due to harvest season.

The government should be more concerned about the quality of the spawn. He is happy with his business because his production is pretty high nowadays, but sometimes they are unable to get a good profit because of the fluctuation of market demand. He thinks the newcomers should start this business only after the new technology is brought here to our country.