Fostering Self-Reliance: Saas and Bahu Mushroom Farming Cultivation

Smt Kaushliya Devi and her mother-in-law (Smt. Sundra Devi) belongs to Yogidih village and the member of Vaibhavi under “Project JIVIKA” – Run by Vedanta ESL Steel Limited and implemented by Drishtee Foundation. Now, a successful Mushroom grower and producer. Both Kaushliya and her mother-in-law came in contact with the Drishtee Foundation Training program on oyster mushroom cultivation. They together want to grab better opportunity to earn income for their own family to support daily needs and day-to-day activities because Kaushliya’s husband lives outside the state and he is the only family member who earns and support his family. It is tough for them to run household expenses. Kaushliya has two children and she wants their child to give better education. So, both daughter-in-law and mother-in-law decided and joined Drishtee’s training program held in the year 2022.

After that Team Drishtee arranged a mushroom trainer and gave three days of successful training and showed keen interest in oyster mushroom farming.

After training and guidance, they arranged all materials required for cultivation. But they started growing mushrooms with very little investment and finding a free space in their house. She utilized and started growing mushrooms under the bed. She packed the prepared mushroom material such as straw spawn etc. in a polythene bag and arranged the bags under the bed and space left in the house. She also created humid conditions and succeeded in growing them.

Initially, they started selling mushrooms to nearby houses, neighbors,s and local markets. When demand gradually got increased, they (SAAS AND BAHU) planned for the next level and decided to grow them for commercial farming.

Meanwhile, her husband came to his house and discuss mushroom farming. She repaired his old mud house with the help of her husband and with her own constructed and planned accordingly with locally available and placed the bamboo horizontally at height to hang more mushroom bags vertically in little space.

She started preparing 10 to 15 oyster mushroom bags a day and in a month she hangs 200 to 250 bags. Her mother-in-law supported her in different ways in mushroom farming and also, sells vegetable growers in her small kitchen garden and she started selling mushrooms with her vegetables. She started earning a good income from mushrooms with an average of Rs200-300 a day.

As we know that mushroom is a perishable food. She faced a bit of loss too because of a lack of awareness of the Mushroom cooking method among the customers, her mushroom got wasted. This was a lesson for them to understand the market demand. 

They took another training with the help of the Drishtee Foundation association with ESL, Vedanta, and arranged a value-added product training and started making mushroom powder, mushroom Pakoadas and mushroom Chowmin, and mushroom pickles. In the meantime, she also started awareness of mushrooms as a superfood and serving mushroom different dishes such as mushroom Pokodas and mushroom omelets, etc. People get motivated and start buying mushrooms. People also got aware of mushroom health benefits. Currently, they are engaged in raw Mushrooms, dry mushrooms,s, and Mushroom powder.

Slowly she starts getting an average order of 200 to 300 rupees on a regular basis. Now she wants to expand their business. Now their neighbor is also showing keen interest in mushroom farming. Now they are well-known mushroom growers in that particular area.

Written By Rajeev

Rajeev has been associated with Drishtee for more than 16 years and currently, he is based in Bokaro and takes the lead of Project Jivika in association with ESL Vedanta. Rajeev’s experience covers a range of community impact work, over the last two decades, including skills development, women’s empowerment, livelihood, youth empowerment, and skills development.

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