Mushroom farming is an increasingly popular and profitable business in India, with a growing demand for mushrooms in the food and pharmaceutical industries. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know to start a successful mushroom farming business in India, including composting techniques, harvesting methods, and different types of mushroom cultivation.
The mushroom industry has seen steady growth in India over the past decade, with an increasing demand for fresh and processed mushrooms in both domestic and export markets. According to industry reports, the mushroom market in India is expected to reach INR 24.85 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 13.2% from 2019 to 2024. With increasing awareness about the health benefits of mushrooms, there is a growing demand for them in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
Mushroom farming can be a highly profitable venture for farmers as it has a high demand in both the domestic and export markets. The cost of production is relatively low, and the yield is high, making it an attractive crop for small and large-scale farmers alike. The profitability of mushroom farming is further increased by the fact that mushrooms have a short production cycle, which allows for multiple harvests throughout the year. Additionally, mushrooms have a longer shelf life compared to other crops, which means that farmers can store and sell them over a more extended period. Mushroom farming can also provide additional income streams through value addition, such as making mushroom-based products like pickles, sauces, and dried mushroom powder. With the increasing demand for organic and natural products, mushroom farming is a lucrative business opportunity for farmers looking to diversify their income streams.
Types of Mushroom that can be grown in India
There are several types of mushrooms grown in India, each with its unique properties and cultivation methods. The most commonly cultivated mushrooms in India include:
1. Button Mushrooms: Button mushrooms are the most commonly cultivated mushroom variety in India, with a mild and earthy flavor. These mushrooms require a temperature range of 18-20°C for cultivation and are grown in a substrate of wheat straw and poultry manure.
2. Oyster Mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms are a high-yielding mushroom variety with a delicate and mild flavor. These mushrooms require a temperature range of 20-28°C for cultivation and are grown in a substrate of paddy straw or other agricultural waste.
3. Shiitake Mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms are a highly valued and nutritious mushroom variety with a meaty texture and rich flavor. These mushrooms require a temperature range of 20-28°C for cultivation and are grown in a substrate of hardwood sawdust or logs.
9 key points that a novice should follow for successful mushroom cultivation:
1. Proper site selection: Select a clean, well-ventilated, and cool site with a steady temperature of 20-25°C for mushroom cultivation.
2. Good quality spawn: Always use good quality spawn from a reputed supplier to ensure healthy and vigorous mycelium growth.
3. Appropriate substrate preparation: Follow the right substrate preparation method as per the mushroom species, whether it is composting, pasteurisation, or sterilisation.
4. Hygiene maintenance: Maintain strict hygiene throughout the cultivation process, including the use of sterilised equipment, hand washing, and disinfection of the work area.
5. Adequate moisture levels: Maintain adequate moisture levels in the substrate, and maintain humidity levels between 70-80% in the growing area.
6. Proper ventilation: Provide proper ventilation to ensure good air circulation and prevent the buildup of harmful gases.
7. Timely harvest: Harvest the mushrooms at the right time to prevent over-maturity or damage to the crop.
8. Disease and pest control: Keep a watchful eye for diseases and pests, and take appropriate measures to control them.
9. Continuous learning: Continuously learn and improve your cultivation skills by attending workshops, reading up on the latest techniques, and networking with other growers.
By following these 9 key points, novice mushroom cultivators can increase their chances of success and produce a bountiful harvest of healthy and nutritious mushrooms.
list of raw materials required for mushroom farming along with their approximate costs:
1. Substrate: The substrate is the material on which the mushrooms grow, and it can be made from a variety of materials such as sawdust, straw, or compost. The cost of substrate varies depending on the material used, but it usually ranges from Rs. 25-30 per kg.
2. Spawn: Spawn is the mushroom equivalent of seeds, and it is used to start the growth of mushrooms. The cost of spawn varies depending on the type of mushroom being grown, but it usually ranges from Rs. 60-80 per kg.
3. Casing Soil: Casing soil is used to cover the substrate and promote the growth of mushrooms. The cost of casing soil varies depending on the material used, but it usually ranges from Rs. 15-20 per kg.
4. Water: Mushroom cultivation requires a consistent supply of water, and the cost will depend on the source of water and the method of irrigation used.
5. Electricity: Mushroom cultivation requires electricity to run fans, heaters, and other equipment, and the cost will depend on the size of the farm and the equipment used.
6. Packaging Material: Packaging material such as boxes and bags are required for storing and transporting the mushrooms. The cost of packaging material varies depending on the material used and the quantity purchased.
In the below section, we will cover the detailed approach one has to take for Button mushroom, Oyster Mushroom and Shiitake Mushrooms.
Button Mushroom Cultivation : Detailed guide
Button Mushroom cultivation is a highly profitable agribusiness in India. Among the different types of mushrooms that are commercially cultivated in the country, the button mushroom is the most popular. Button mushrooms are commonly used in various cuisines and are known for their medicinal properties. One of the key components of successful button mushroom cultivation is high-quality spawn, which is the mycelium (the vegetative part of the fungus) that is used to inoculate the substrate (the material on which the mushrooms are grown).
- Spawn Production: Spawn production is the first step in the cultivation process. In this step, mushroom spores are grown in a sterile environment on a substrate like grains or sawdust until they form mycelium. Once the mycelium is fully colonized, it is known as spawn.
- Composting: The next step is composting. Mushroom compost is made up of materials like straw, poultry manure, and gypsum. The compost is mixed, watered, and pasteurized to kill any bacteria or other microorganisms that could harm the mushrooms.
- Spawning: Once the compost has cooled down, the spawn is added to it. The spawn is mixed with the compost and then transferred to trays.
- Casing: Casing is the process of adding a layer of soil or peat moss on top of the spawn and compost mixture. This layer helps to maintain humidity levels and protect the mushrooms from drying out.
- Pinning: After casing, the mushrooms start to develop small, button-like structures. This stage is called pinning. During this stage, the temperature and humidity levels must be carefully controlled.
- Cropping: Once the buttons have fully formed, they are ready for harvest. The mushrooms are typically harvested by hand, and the entire process takes around 60-70 days.
composting method for button mushroom:
1. Preparation of substrate: Wheat or paddy straw is the preferred substrate for button mushroom cultivation. The straw should be chopped into pieces of 4-5 inches in length and soaked in water for 12-24 hours to make it moist. The substrate is then pasteurized to kill any harmful bacteria or fungi present in it.
2. Pasteurization: The pasteurization process involves heating the substrate to a temperature of 60-65°C for 2-3 hours. This helps in killing any unwanted microorganisms present in the substrate. After pasteurization, the substrate is cooled down to room temperature.
3. Spawning: Once the substrate is cooled down, it is inoculated with mushroom spawn. The spawn is mixed thoroughly with the substrate using clean hands or gloves. The inoculated substrate is then transferred to trays or shelves for incubation.
4. Incubation: The trays or shelves containing the inoculated substrate are kept in a dark and humid environment with a temperature between 20-30°C. During the incubation period, mycelium grows and colonizes the substrate.
5. Casing: Once the mycelium has colonized the substrate, a casing layer is applied to the surface. The casing layer is typically a mixture of soil, peat, and other organic materials. The casing layer helps in retaining moisture and providing a suitable surface for the mushrooms to grow.
6. Cropping: After casing, the trays or shelves are transferred to a growing room with a temperature between 18-22°C and a humidity of 80-85%. The mushrooms start appearing within 15-20 days after casing. The mushrooms are harvested when they reach maturity.
7. Post-harvest care: After harvesting, the spent substrate is removed, and the growing room is cleaned thoroughly. The shelves or trays are sterilized before the next batch of substrate is added. The spent substrate can be used as a fertilizer or compost.
Spawn production for button mushroom in India:
In this section, we will take a look at the process of spawn production for button mushroom cultivation in India.
- Selection of Spawn: The first step in spawn production is the selection of high-quality spawn. Spawn can be sourced from various sources, including mushroom spawn laboratories or experienced growers. It is important to select spawn that is free from contaminants and disease and has a high germination rate.
- Preparation of Spawn Substrate: Once the spawn has been selected, the next step is to prepare the spawn substrate. The substrate is the material on which the mycelium will grow and develop. For button mushroom spawn production, the substrate typically consists of a mixture of wheat or rice straw and poultry manure. The substrate is pasteurized to kill any unwanted microorganisms and is then cooled to room temperature.
- Inoculation: Once the substrate has cooled, it is inoculated with the selected spawn. The spawn is mixed with the substrate to ensure even distribution. The inoculated substrate is then placed in plastic bags and sealed to prevent contamination. The bags are then incubated in a dark room at a temperature of around 25-30°C for a period of around 15-20 days.
- Spawn Run: After the incubation period, the spawn will have run through the substrate, forming a white mycelial network. This is known as the spawn run. The bags are then opened and the spawn is removed from the substrate using a sterile technique.
- Storage: mThe spawn can be used immediately or stored for future use. To store the spawn, it is packed into small plastic bags and sealed. The bags are then stored in a cool, dry place at a temperature of around 4-8°C.
- To use the spawn, it is mixed with the substrate on which the mushrooms will be grown. This process is known as spawning. The spawn is typically mixed with a substrate of composted wheat straw, poultry manure, and gypsum. The mixture is then pasteurized and cooled before being inoculated with the spawn.
- Spawning: In conclusion, spawn production is a crucial step in button mushroom cultivation, and high-quality spawn is essential for a successful harvest. By following the steps outlined above, farmers can produce their own spawn and reduce their reliance on external suppliers. With careful attention to detail and good agricultural practices, button mushroom farming can be a lucrative and sustainable agribusiness in India.
Oyster Mushroom Cultivation : Detailed guide
- Substrate Preparation: Oyster mushrooms can be grown on a variety of substrates, including straw, sawdust, and coffee grounds. The substrate is prepared by chopping it into small pieces and then pasteurizing it to kill any bacteria or other microorganisms.
- Spawn Inoculation: Once the substrate has cooled down, the spawn is added to it. The spawn is mixed with the substrate and then transferred to plastic bags or trays.
- Incubation: The bags or trays are then placed in a warm, humid environment for several weeks to allow the mycelium to fully colonize the substrate.
- Pinning: After incubation, the mushrooms start to develop small pin-like structures. This stage is called pinning. During this stage, the temperature and humidity levels must be carefully controlled.
- Cropping: Once the pins have fully developed, they are ready for harvest. The mushrooms are typically harvested by hand, and the entire process takes around 50-60 days.
Substrate Preparation for Oyster Mushroom:
1. Material Preparation: The substrate is prepared using a combination of agricultural waste materials like wheat straw, rice straw, corn cobs, and cottonseed hulls. The waste materials are chopped into small pieces of around 5 cm in length and soaked in water for 24 hours.
2. Pasteurization: The soaked materials are drained of excess water and then placed in a pasteurization chamber. The chamber is then heated to a temperature of 70-80°C for 1-2 hours to kill any bacteria or fungi present in the material.
3. Inoculation: After pasteurization, the substrate is allowed to cool to room temperature. A spawn of Oyster mushrooms is then added to the substrate. The spawn is mixed with the substrate thoroughly to ensure even distribution.
4. Incubation: The inoculated substrate is then placed in a plastic bag or container and sealed. The bag or container is then incubated at a temperature of 25-28°C for 14-21 days. During this time, the mycelium of the Oyster mushrooms will grow throughout the substrate.
5. Fruiting: Once the mycelium has fully colonized the substrate, it is ready for fruiting. The plastic bag or container is opened, and small holes are made in the top to allow for air circulation. The bag or container is then placed in a cool, dark place with high humidity.
6. Harvesting: After 7-10 days, the Oyster mushrooms will begin to form fruiting bodies. The mushrooms can be harvested by twisting and pulling them off the substrate. The remaining substrate can be used for a second or third flush of mushrooms.
7. Post-Harvest Treatment: After harvesting, the mushrooms are sorted, packed, and stored in a cool, dry place. The remaining substrate can be composted or used as a soil amendment.
The process for Oyster mushroom substrate production is different from that of Button mushrooms due to the use of different agricultural waste materials and the need for pasteurisation. It is important to follow the correct process to ensure the best yield and quality of Oyster mushrooms.
step-by-step guide for spawn production for Oyster mushrooms in India:
1. First, select the mushroom strain for spawn production, ensuring that it is suitable for the climate and growing conditions in your area.
2. The substrate used for spawn production can be a mix of various ingredients such as wheat bran, rice bran, sawdust, and gypsum. The ingredients need to be sterilized before use to prevent contamination.
3. Once the substrate is sterilized, it needs to be inoculated with the mushroom spores. The inoculation process can be done through several methods, such as grain-to-grain transfer or adding spores directly to the substrate.
4. After inoculation, the substrate needs to be kept in a clean, sterile environment and incubated at an optimal temperature and humidity level to allow the mycelium to grow.
5. Once the mycelium has grown throughout the substrate, it is time to transfer it to the final growing medium, such as straw or sawdust. This process is called spawn running.
6. The spawn running process can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks, depending on the temperature and humidity levels. During this time, the mycelium will grow and colonize the new substrate.
7. After the spawn running process is complete, the fully colonized substrate can be used to inoculate the final fruiting substrate, such as bags or trays filled with straw or sawdust.
8. The final fruiting substrate needs to be kept in a controlled environment with the optimal temperature, humidity, and lighting conditions for the Oyster mushrooms to grow.
9. The mushrooms will start to form pinheads and then mature into full-sized mushrooms. Harvesting should be done carefully to avoid damaging the fruiting bodies and to promote continued fruiting.
By following these steps, it is possible to produce high-quality Oyster mushroom spawn for commercial or personal use in India.
Shiitake Mushroom Cultivation: detailed guide
- Log Inoculation: Shiitake mushrooms are typically grown on hardwood logs, such as oak or maple. The logs are inoculated with mushroom spores using either sawdust spawn or plug spawn. The logs are then sealed with wax to prevent contamination.
- Incubation: The logs are stored in a shady, humid environment for several months to allow the mycelium to fully colonize the logs.
- Fruiting: Once the mycelium has fully colonized the logs, the mushrooms will start to fruit. This usually occurs in the spring or fall, depending on the climate. During fruiting, the logs are soaked in water to induce fruiting, and then moved to a cool, humid environment for several weeks.
- Cropping: Once the mushrooms have fully developed, they are ready for harvest. The mushrooms are typically harvested by hand, and the entire process takes around 6-12 months.
step-by-step guide for preparing mushroom logs for Shiitake Mushroom cultivation:
1. Select the right logs: Choose fresh, healthy logs of hardwood trees such as oak, maple, or beech that are 4-6 inches in diameter and 3-4 feet long.
2. Cut the logs: Cut the logs into appropriate sizes of about 3 to 4 feet in length.
3. Let the logs rest: Allow the logs to rest for about two weeks so that the natural antifungal properties can dissipate.
4. Drill holes: Use a power drill to create 1-inch-deep holes, spaced about 6 inches apart in a diamond pattern around the logs.
5. Inoculate the logs: Use Shiitake mushroom spawn to inoculate each hole by placing a small amount of spawn into each hole.
6. Wax the holes: Melt food-grade wax and pour it over the holes to cover the spawn and seal the holes.
7. Store the logs: Stack the logs in a shady, moist place, elevated slightly off the ground to prevent direct contact with soil.
8. Keep the logs moist: Water the logs periodically to keep them moist, but not waterlogged.
9. Wait for the spawn to grow: The spawn will take 6 to 18 months to grow through the logs, depending on the temperature and moisture conditions.
10. Harvest the Shiitake Mushrooms: When the Shiitake mushrooms start to grow from the logs, harvest them by twisting the mushroom gently to avoid damaging the log.
By following these steps, you can successfully prepare mushroom logs for Shiitake Mushroom cultivation.
successful mushroom farmers in India:
1. Gourav Sood – He is the founder of Mushroom Singh, a mushroom cultivation company in Punjab. His company produces over 1,000 kg of mushrooms daily and has a turnover of over Rs. 3 crore.
2. Sridharan – He is the founder of Thulasi Mushroom Farm in Chennai. His farm produces over 500 kg of mushrooms daily and supplies to top hotels and supermarkets in the city.
3. Nilotpal Borah – He is the founder of Mushroom Training and Research Centre in Assam. His centre provides training and support to aspiring mushroom farmers and has helped many farmers start successful mushroom cultivation businesses.
4. Prashant Sawant – He is the founder of Sawantwadi Mushroom Centre in Maharashtra. His centre produces over 200 kg of mushrooms daily and has a turnover of over Rs. 1 crore.
5. Anand Chowdhary – He is the founder of Svadhisht Foods, a mushroom cultivation company in Mumbai. His company produces over 200 kg of mushrooms daily and supplies to major supermarkets and restaurants in the city.
These are just a few examples of successful mushroom farmers in India. There are many more farmers who have built successful businesses in this field.
If you’re serious about starting your own mushroom farming business in India, then you should look up our farming courses. That’s why we highly recommend checking out the courses available on the ffreedom app. These courses are specifically designed to help you build and grow your successful mushroom farming business in India, regardless of your level of experience.