1. Agriculture World

Bodoland University Organizes First Mushroom Mela; Wants To Transform Kokrajhar Into International Mushroom Hub

The 1st Bodoland Mushroom Mela, 2022, held on March 23 and March 24.

Chintu Das
Mushroom Varieties
Mushroom Varieties

The 1st Bodoland Mushroom Mela, 2022, was jointly organised by the Department of Agriculture, BTR and DBT-Government of India - Technology Incubation Centre on Mushroom and IQAC of Bodoland University, (BU) on the BU campus on March 23 and 24 with an goal of providing a common platform to mushroom farmers, researchers, rural entrepreneurs, investors, consumers, policy makers, bankers, social organizations, academicians, people's representative for promotion of holistic entrepreneurial development in BTR, to inspire farmers to create businesses, and to convert Kokrajhar into a worldwide mushroom centre.

The first day's session began with an international seminar on functional mycology, which was held with the involvement of experts from various states and countries. Following the presentations by the resource individuals, a few research academics from various institutions throughout India presented their results on mushroom research. Prof. Jatin Sarmah, Professor of Biotechnology at Bodoland University, presided over the session.

Following the international seminar, mushroom farmers and officials from the Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC), DPM-APART, DPM-ASRLM, and banking organisations such as NABARD, Canara Bank, Gramin Vikas Bank, Bandhan Bank, Axis Bank, Union Bank, North East Small Finance, and HDFC Bank held an open interaction session to familiarise farmers with various government schemes and avenues.

The inaugural session of the first Bodoland Mushroom Mela, 2022 was led by Ghanshyam Das, Executive Member of Agriculture, BTR; Prof. Pradip Kr. Patra, Vice Chancellor i/c (BU); Varnali Deka, Deputy Commissioner, Kokrajhar, Manoranjan Das, CHD, Agriculture, BTR; Dr HK Sahoo (DSW,BU); Prof Sandeep Das (Dean, Science and Technology, BU); Satya Prakash Bhuyan (GM, DICC, Kokrajhar); Kanchan Bhagawati, CHD-DICC, Kokrajhar, along with teaching staff and officials of Bodoland University and BTR. The team toured the various stalls and provided inspiration to the mushroom growers.

Prof. Jatin Sarmah (Department of Biotechnology), Prof. H. Bailung (Department of Physics), Dr. Debojit Biswas (Associate Prof and Head, Department of English), Dr. Patrusha Bhowmik (Department of English), and Nijwm Thomas Mushahary (Department of English) began the second day of the Mushroom Mela by inspecting the stall review team of five members (APART). They chose three stalls out of a total of 68.

The open session began with introductions of guests such as Pramod Boro, BTC's Chief Executive Member; Prof. Pradip Kumar Patra, Bodoland University's Vice Chancellor i/c; and other dignitaries.

Prizes were given out to the top three stalls. The 1st prize winner, Paritran Narzary (Shradhanjoli Mushroom and Food Production Unit) of Rajendrapur, Gossaigaon, received a cash reward of Rs 5,000, a certificate, and a memento. The second prize winner, Balit Baruah, received a cash award of Rs 3,000, a certificate, and a memento (Parijat Mushroom Unit of Gossaigaon). Rimamoni Sharma of M/S Grihini Enterprise, Srirampur, was awarded a cash reward of Rs 2,000, a certificate, and a memento as the third place winner.

68 of the 179 registered stalls, as well as 12 banking organisations, attended the mela. Farmers demonstrated their expertise in food processing techniques and products such as mushroom food drinks, mushroom poori, mushroom pickle, mushroom noodle, mushroom papad, mushroom chocolate, mushroom momo, mushroom gulab jamun, and a variety of other delights.

Prof Sandeep Das, Dean, Science and Technology (BU), who organised the Mela, gathered feedback from farmers on their needs and plans for the next ten years to draught the Mushroom Mission Policy, which aims to turn Kokrajhar district into an international mushroom hub for entrepreneurship and research.

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