Mrs. Divya.C , Mullasseril House, Vallikunnam is an undergraduate who is ambitious of taking up a decent enterprise for livelihood. Once on her visit to the KVK for the purchase of vegetable seeds she happened to interact with a lady who came for mushroom spawn. Realizing the potential of mushroom to earn money and to convert agricultural waste materials to palatable protein, she attended the training programme at KVK in 2017. She initiated mushroom cultivation from the very next day of the training and prepared mushroom beds with the spawn from KVK. Seeing the first heavy bloom after a fortnight she decided to cling to this vocation.
She started cultivation in small scale in a small room attached to her house. Regular visits and telephonic helpline from KVK helped her to build up her confidence in this venture. Her enthusiastic and entrepreneurship qualities helped her to realize and utilize the potential of mushroom cultivation. Realizing the market demand she decided to boost up the production with the support of her family members for which infrastructure was developed. Reduction in yield of oyster mushroom during summer months was a constraint. Hence she was included as a partner farmer in the Front line demonstration on “Milky mushroom variety, Bheema” which could perform well in summer months also.
With the financial assistance from State Horticulture Mission and technical guidance from KVK she expanded her production unit to the terrace with a capacity of more than 800 beds. She branded her product as “Nalla Koon” (Good mushroom). Novel marketing channels were introduced by selling the produce in hospitals and nearby markets by packing them in containers packed with cling sheets and highlighting the nutritive value of mushroom. Her experience is that in hospitals the demand for the product is always high as the staff is aware of its medicinal properties. By the sale of fresh mushroom (100 – 150 kg / month) she is realizing a net income of Rs.25,000/- / month. She has also employed a lady in her farm to look after the mushroom unit and for assisting in sales. Through this enterprise she could generate about 130 -140 mandays of employment per year. She also started recycling the spent substrate by using it for vegetable growing.
She successfully transfers mushroom production technologies to staff and trainees from Rubber Board and also shares her experience to other trainees from KVK. It’s a matter of great joy and satisfaction for her to share the experience to other rural unemployed youth on the accomplishments and her contribution to the family budget.