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Karnataka - Gulbarga Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Farmers urged to take up mushroom cultivation

By Our Special Correspondent

GULBARGA, JAN. 23. The Chairman of Krishna Grameena Bank, R.R. Desai, today stressed the need for diversification of agricultural practices and urged farmers to take up horticulture to overcome losses.

Speaking at a workshop on mushroom cultivation and marketing avenues organised by the Hyderabad Karnataka Mushroom Growers' Society here, Mr. Desai said that although the bank had not extended loans for the development of mushroom cultivation in the Hyderabad Karnataka region, it was open to providing loans at reduced interest rates for mushroom cultivation.

Misconception

He said that mushrooms with high protein content can be grown in the backyard and in kitchen farms as well.

He said that there was a misconception that mushrooms were non-vegetarian and this can be cleared only if the cultivation of mushrooms is popularised in the Hyderabad Karnataka region.

Mr. Desai said that the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) was ready to provide subsidy in capital and interest to loans availed for new agriculture practices such as mushroom cultivation.

The Deputy Director of Horticulture, Ramananda Rao, appreciated the initiative of a small group of mushroom growers in Gulbarga district for forming the first society of its kind in the State and taking up a training programme for mushroom growers in the district.

Proposal submitted

He said that the State Government has submitted a series of proposals for the development of mushroom cultivation and improving marketing facilities for the product. Mr. Rao hoped that the with assistance from the Centre, the State Government will unveil a comprehensive plan for the development of mushroom cultivation and improve market facilities in the State in 2005-06.

Mr. Rao said that a State-level society of mushroom growers has been constituted in Bangalore and will be inaugurated soon. The State Government will extend assistance to these societies for marketing mushrooms.

The Government will also extend increased subsidies to mushroom growers individually, he added. He admitted that the lack of marketing avenues for mushrooms is a cause for the lack of interest among farmers in taking up cultivation.

The Chairman of the Agri Microbiology division of the Agriculture College at Bijapur, A.B. Patil; senior Assistant Director of the Horticulture Department, S.K. Patil; and Shasikala Dole of the Agriculture Research Centre of the University of Agriculture Sciences, Dharwad, spoke.

The president of the society, Manjunath Jewargi, welcomed the gathering.

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