Bajaur farmers to grow mushrooms on trial basis

A group of 20 farmers have been trained initially


August 30, 2021

BAJAUR:

Farmers in Bajaur tribal district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) have started growing mushrooms on experimental basis with the help of a government organization Non Timber Forest Project (NTFP). For this purpose a group of 20 farmers have been selected initially who have been provided with seeds and technical assistance.

The basic aim of the introduction of mushrooms in Bajaur is to increase the income level of the low income segments of society in the tribal district and to help them produce mushrooms for their own needs as well as market demand which will be financially beneficial for them.

“We really appreciate the project but providing training, kits and seeds to a small group of 20 farmers is unjust. This project should be expanded and more and more small farmers should be included in the project,” said a local farmer while talking to The Express Tribune, adding that mushrooms are found in the hills of Bajaur but most of them are poisonous and for the first time they are able to grow mushrooms which are fit for human consumption.

Another local farmer Sahibzada Bahaudin said that normally mushrooms are grown from September to April and there were different varieties for summer and winter.

“There is no local market for this despite the fact that people like mushrooms very much but locally people are poor and they can’t afford to buy such an expensive thing. It could be transported to Lahore and Karachi to dealers where it could fetch a very good price,” he said, adding that so far there is no marketing mechanism in place.

He said that for the farmers mushroom crops could be a real profitable proposition if they grow it on a large commercial scale but proper training is required along with proper seeds and kits for the purpose.

It is worth mentioning here that mushrooms are found locally but most of them are poisonous and not fit for human consumption. In Chitral a child died after consuming poisonous mushrooms recently.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2021.

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