White Button Mushroom Trial Cultivation A Success In Chukha, Bhutan

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In April this year, four areas were identified in Darla (Tala), Chasilakha and Tsimalakha for the trial programme.

White button mushrooms. (Source: Peakpx)

 

By Rajesh Rai | Kuensel

According to agriculture officials in Bhutan, the Chukha dzongkhag’s initiative to try white button mushroom farming has been a success.

In April this year, four areas were identified in Darla (Tala), Chasilakha and Tsimalakha for the trial programme.

Moreover, four staff from the dzongkhag agriculture sector were also sent to the Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, India for training on white button mushroom farming.

Various organisations gave support to realise the white button mushroom cultivation trial

The training is realised with funding support under the India government’s ‘project tied assistance’.

The Deputy Chief dzongkhag agriculture officer, Saha Bir Rai said that the programme was initiated based on the instructions given by the Chukha dzongdag and supported by the National Mushroom Center (NMC).

The compost was prepared at Darla and different farm sites with varying elevations within the dzongkhag were selected to understand the best site for future farms.

“The preliminary data shows that all the locations are viable for white mushroom cultivation,” Saha Bir Rai said. “The first harvest was done in 75 days from the day the composting was initiated.”

 

Caption: Bhutanese dish of mushroom and cheese

Source: Wordpress/Arundati

 

He also said that white button mushroom cultivation was tried for the first time in the dzongkhag.

Challenges faced by the trial programme

“One of the major challenges faced during the trial programme was the need for constant monitoring of the farm.”

Meanwhile, the outcome of the programme has also been communicated to the Department of Agriculture.

“The department instructed us to work towards the up-scaling of farming,” the agriculture officer said. “We are hoping that more farmers and youth will come forward to take up the farming.”

More farmers and youth encouraged to take up farming

A farming group in Tshimasham, the Youth in Agriculture Programme (YiAP), which are run by three graduates were also involved in this trial.

This group would take up the farming, Saha Bir Rai said and the dzongkhag administration will give technical support.

The Chukha dzongdag, Minjur Dorj said that the need for the diversification and capitalisation of agricultural activities to the advantage of farmers and youth is of utmost importance.

He said that the dzongkhag is open to new ideas. “Any such new initiatives are welcome.”

The programme director of the NMC, Dawa Penjor said that with the success of the trial, priority would be given to upscale the farms in Chukha and the other parts of the country.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.


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