Himachal tribals encouraged to cultivate oyster mushroom

Kullu:  More farmers in tiny hamlets spread over Himalayan peaks of the picturesque Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh have been encouraged to go for the cultivation of the highly remunerative and protein rich oyster or dhingri mushroom, officials said on Saturday. This would supplement the income of the farmers in Lahaul-Spiti district who largely go for the traditional cash crops of green peas, potatoes, barley and wheat on the soil that is dry and lacks organic matter. The crops are grown in summer only and cultivated in August-September. We have been trained to grow oyster mushroom that would increase its yield and supplement the income of local farmers,” oyster mushroom grower Kalzag Ladde of Chichim village said. He has been growing this mushroom variety since 2015. Ladde is producing more than 150 kg of oyster mushroom and is supplying it to local hoteliers and home stay units in Kaza at a rate of Rs 250 to Rs 300 a kg. As of now 50 farmers have been trained for growing the oyster mushroom. They have been provided its spawned bags to be incubated under room temperature, an official said.