Mr. S. Unnikrishnan, Nadukke muriyil, Thiruvanvandoor is a matriculate. Having closed his poultry enterprise due to various reasons, he was planning to shift to a new venture. A optimistic farmer with hard working nature and determination to do something different, he approached the KVK for knowing more about mushroom cultivation. For hands on experience he attended the training on “Scientific mushroom cultivation” on 11.06.2014. He initiated the cultivation on the other day itself with the inputs received to start with, making use of a part of already existing poultry shed and kept his contact with KVK for spawn and clearing the problems faced during the cropping period. Encouraged by the market demand, he decided to boost up the production. Experts from KVK visited the house and analysed the resources available and suggested to go for commercial mushroom cultivation and low cost spawn production simultaneously. Technical guidance was provided for converting the existing unutilized poultry sheds for the production of mushroom. He started using sawdust as well as paddy straw as substrate for mushroom production. He now maintains 300 – 500 beds in an area of 40 feet X 5 feet and follows his own way of marketing such as direct and continuous supply to restaurants and mobile vegetable vendors. Owing to high demand of mushroom he thought of starting a spawn production unit also. KVK provided him an opportunity to attend the vocational training programme on “low cost mushroom spawn production”. To begin with he used the fruiting bodies from his own beds for culturing and succeeded in producing uncontaminated cultures in slants.
High nutritive value, diabetic friendly and anti-cancerous properties, and low fat content make mushroom suitable for people of all age group and hence offer a steady market. Harvesting 5 – 6 kg of Oyster mushroom daily and having an assured market, Mr. S. Unnikrishnan is very happy and satisfied with his new enterprise. Advantages like demand of mushroom in the district, availability of raw materials, Low investment and more income, and simple and cheap cultivation technique made the enterprise lucrative.