Button Mushroom Farming in Nepal

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The story of Bir Bahadur Lama ( Button Mushroom Farmer)
Bir Bahadur Lama lives in Lele. Before this, he used to live in Dhapakhel. It has been at least ten years since he started cultivating mushrooms. Before he came into mushroom farming, he used to stay at home and do whatever he found. He was also involved in the driving sector. Then he moved to the Thecho area and worked under supervision, and then he started his own business. He got involved in the button mushroom farming business because this is what he learned. He cultivated oyster mushrooms some years ago in large quantities. Now he doesn’t grow oysters; he has only grown button mushrooms since he moved to this place. He started his business in 2066 B.S.
He had his farm in Dhapakhel, Thecho, Nuwakot, Lakure Bhanjyang, and hilly areas as well. Some years he had a good harvest but other years he didn’t. He went into losses for some years, but he had very good earnings last year. He earned around five million rupees with his fifty tunnels. He works pretty hard and gets good rewards in return. He has a good income and is happy with it. Initially, he faced many challenges. He didn’t know where to get raw materials, spawn, chemicals, and even where to sell the products. The beginning of the year was tough for him because he needs many kinds of materials such as polishing, chemicals, and fertilizers. After a tough first year in this business, he started to feel comfortable in the following years.
He gets many obstacles while learning. Firstly, he faces problems while making compost. When he doesn’t make good compost then he may fail. Secondly, the problem lies in spawn when the spawn is not matured and has green molds. When there are such problems, the farmers go to loss and chances are he might quit this business.
Nine years ago, he had the same problem, he had a loss when he had his farm in Nuwakot, he had eighteen tunnels at that time. He lost around eight lakh rupees. Even though he went into loss he didn’t quit work, he somehow managed the loans. Now his income goes above forty to fifty lakhs per year. He invests around twenty lakhs and he gets around forty lakhs rupees in return. When everything goes normal, he earns up to 10 to 15 lakhs rupees every year.
He has employed five youths and thinks it contributes to the brain drain somehow. He himself also has come from a working background. So he wishes youth should stay in his country and do something in our country like him. Getting the substrate is pretty hard for him nowadays. He doesn’t get in the normal price when he needs it. He sometimes faces the scarcity of fertilizers to make compost. His initial investment was one hundred and twenty thousand. The straw and spawn used to be very cheap at that time.
When he started at that time, he didn’t have any helpers and didn’t know anybody in this field. It sells at a good price. He doesn’t have a fixed rate, sometimes he sells for 280 rupees. It might be 250 rupees also. It reaches up to 500 or 550 rupees. He doesn’t have to worry about the product not selling in the market, only the price may matter.
To make the compost, he wants the straw. He adds chemical fertilizer to it. He uses the pesticide and fungicide once in the compost. Only after all those processes, he germinates the seeds. If some newcomers want to indulge in button mushroom farming, he is ready to guide and train them.