Button Mushroom Cultivation in Sikkim

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In Sikkim it was 1970 when the Department of Agriculture took the initiative of  cultivation of button mushroom. Research and trail in this sector was started by the department. In the year 2003 with the built up of a small Mushroom Unit at Marchak, Ranipool, the Button mushroom cultivation on commercial basis was started but again due to the upcoming of Agriculture Engineering College in the year 2006 this Mushroom section was immediately shifted to the I. P. M. Laboratory at I. C. A. R. Complex Tadong. Now, after a gap of five and a half years the Department of Horticulture and Cash Crop Development Department has succeeded in producing Organic Button Mushroom on commercial basis at Majhitar which has started fruiting from 15th of January 2012.

Mushrooms belong to a separate group of organisms called Fungi. They lack  green matter (chrolophyll) present in the plants and grow on dead and decaying organic materials. They absorb their nutrition from these decaying substrates with the help of very fine thread like structures (mycelium) which penetrate into the substratum and are generally not visible on the surface. After the mycelium has grown profusely and absorb sufficient food materials, it forms the reproductive structure which comes out of substrate and forms fruiting body, commonly known as MUSHROOM.

Types of Mushroom -  At present 3 types of mushrooms are being cultivated.

  1. Button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus)
  2. Paddy straw mushroom (Volvariella volvacea)
  3. Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus sajor – caju)

Agaricus bisporus is the most popular and economically sound to grow and is extensively cultivated throughout the world. However, due to its low temperature requirement during fruiting, its cultivation is restricted to the cool climatic areas.

Yearwise production schedule –

Mid November to Mid March – Agaricus bisporus

Feb to Mid April – Pleurotus sajor- caju

Mid June to Mid September – Volvariella volvacea.

September to November – Pleurotus sajor – caju.

Mushroom poisoning – There are three types of mushroom poisoning depending upon the toxic principle present-

  1. 1. Muscarine type, (due to inocybe and related species known as early mushroom poisoning)
  2. 2. Hallucinogenic, ( due to A. muscaria species)
  3. 3. Phalloidin type, ( due to A. phalloides and its related species, known as late mushroom poisoning) Mushroom poisoning is also known as mycetism. Fatality due to mushroom consumption is common among poverty ridden families. As such there is no particular features to differentiate between poisonous and non poisonous mushrooms.

The Mushroom section of Horticulture and Cash Crop Development has produced 7 metric tones of Compost for button mushroom which is spawned by thorough spawning method. This process has started from 15th of November 2011 on trial basis and fruiting started exactly after two months i.e. 15th of January 2012 as per the formulations and the process  mentioned below.

Wheat Straw                                -          Base Material

Chicken/ Horse Manure          - For activating Formulations

Wheat Bran                                 –   Hasten the composting process to       balance C:N ratio.

Gypsum                                        -  Neutralize Greasiness.

Cotton seed meal                      -  N2 Quick growth of microbial    population.

15.11.11 ——-         PHASE-I     (Out door  Composting)

PHASE-II      (Pasteurization & Conditioning)

18.11.11 ———       For 4 days – Pre wetting of W/Straw with water in composting yard.

5th day   -           Add Chicken / Horse Manure + Wheat bran + Cotton seed Meal

21.11.11 —–               0    Day                (7th day)        -           Pile making/ Stacking upto 5 ‘(60 .C)

23.11.11 ——        + 2 Day                     ( 9th day )     -           1st turning of Pile (70 .C)

25.11.11  ——-      + 4 Day                    (11th day)   – 2nd turning of Pile (75 .C)

27.11.11 ——-       + 6 Day                     ( 13th day)  -  3rd turning of Pile (Add Gypsum)

29.11.11  -  4.12.11     PHASE-II                ( 15thday)    – Compost filling in Pasteurizing Chamber as   quickly as possible  and close the door air tight & live steam injected for 6-8 hours at 58 .C then conditioning starts for  5-6 days ( 45 – 52 .C)

05.12.11-15.11.11          20th day (for 10 days)-       Compost ready for spawning by through spawning method @.750/100kg compost by Bag cultivation (2-3 holes/bag) – Bag are kept in the Incubation room maintain R/H 90 % & temperature at 23 + 2 .C


CASING      (40-45thday) -        Application of Pasteurized  casing soil   on the surface   of the Compost. After 20 – 25 days of casing fruiting starts.

15.01.12 – Fruiting starts   after 58-60 days.

Pin head start then Bags are shifted to the cropping room and Temperature maintained at 16 + 2 .C, RH 85 %.

60th day-  First Fruits comes out. Fruiting   goes on for 3 months.

Method of Turning:-

Remove 1 ft. of Compost from Top and sides of the Pile keep this position in one side and shake it vigorously so that excess NH3 is released. Central  & Bottom position of Pile are removed keep aside  A new Pile is made – Central position at the Bottom  , top and sides position should be placed at the  Centre. Bottom portion is kept on top .

The main objectives of this  Integrated Mushroom Unit at Majhitar, East Sikkim is the production of pasteurized spawned compost and pasteurized casing soil and distribute it to the mushroom growers as per their climatic condition , i.e. in summer it is distributed in the higher altitude and in winter in the lower altitude. The beneficiaries will be trained technically in the complex before receiving the spawned compost. The main purpose is to uplift the economical condition of the farmers and helps in self employment scheme programme.



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