Jammu- Jammu and Kashmir’s agriculture department will introduce a high resistance and better shelf-life NPS-5 variety of mushrooms for commercial farming in September this year after successful field trials of the cultivation of this variety.

“Our second strain is NPS-5 (a variety of mushrooms). We are making its master culture. The seeds will be distributed to farmers by September this year (for commercial farming in Jammu and Kashmir),” K K Sharma, Director of the Department of Agriculture, told PTI.

He said that the trials were successful. “It is not affected by low water, high water situations and high concentration of carbon dioxide. It possesses non-browning characteristics. It has a better shelf life”.

Elaborating on the better shelf-life of mushroom variety, Sharma said the majority of mushrooms in the market turn stale if it is not sold for a day or two.

“However, its (new variety) quality is maintained. Due to its quality, its market value will increase and it will generate more revenue,” he added.

The department is working on several fronts for ensuring the growth of the mushroom sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

“When a mushroom gets brown in colour during shelf life, its market value gets depleted and causes losses for farmers and its market. This isn’t the case with a new variety,” Sharma added.

The new strains, which were added to mushroom cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir, will benefit farmers on a large scale. “Its cap remains intact and doesn’t get brown. It will benefit farmers as well as consumers,” he said.

After much research, the new strain has been produced by the Directorate of Mushroom Research (ICAR), Solan, Sharma said, adding, “They have provided us with the strains and we have to introduce it to the market in Jammu and Kashmir”.

Sharma informed that the temperature and humidity are maintained in laboratories for the production of this mushroom variety. “We are also making 4 types of seeds of milky mushrooms, dingri, button and shiitake, a Japanese mushroom. We have crossed a target of 100 quintals of seed this month.”

The cultivation trial was carried out on sawdust of broad leaves in polypropylene bags as per the guidelines of the Directorate of Mushroom Research (ICAR), Solan, he said.  (PTI)


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