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Mushroom Farming: Profitability, Market Trends and Largest Producing States in India

Mushrooms, a superfood celebrated for their unique flavors and nutritional benefits, are becoming a profitable agricultural venture in India, with states like Bihar and Maharashtra leading production.

Saurabh Shukla
Rise and Potential of Mushroom Farming in India (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Rise and Potential of Mushroom Farming in India (Photo Source: Pixabay)

Mushrooms are considered a superfood and have become popular worldwide due to their unique flavors, nutritional benefits, and adaptability to various cuisines. India has emerged as a major player in the global mushroom market, especially with the growing demand for rare and specialty mushrooms. This shift is driven by the potential for mushroom cultivation to be a highly profitable profession in the agricultural sector. Additionally, the ease of cultivating mushrooms, such as button mushrooms, in small fields, backyards, basements, and even warehouses, has further boosted their popularity.

Commercial mushroom cultivation in India began in the late 1960s. A plan titled "Development of Mushroom Cultivation in Himachal Pradesh" highlighted the potential benefits of mushroom farming, including increased employment, diversified crop production, and higher earning potential. This initiative laid the foundation for what would become a flourishing industry.

Profitability of Mushroom Farming

Mushroom farming in India can yield substantial profits, with potential earnings reaching up to Rs 1,90,000 annually. One of the most appealing aspects of mushroom cultivation is the minimal space required and the short cultivation cycle. Mushrooms are ready to harvest within three weeks of casing, which involves covering the compost with a thin layer of sterile soil or materials like chalk powder.

High-Demand Mushrooms in India

Among the various types of mushrooms, the button mushroom stands out as the most in-demand variety in India. It is extensively used in diverse cuisines and valued for its therapeutic benefits. Button mushrooms are not only delicious but also rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a staple in the diets of health-conscious Indians.

Growing Indian Mushroom Market

India's mushroom industry is expanding significantly.. Market data predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2% between 2019 and 2024. This growth is driven by increased awareness of the health benefits of mushrooms, rising demand for organic produce, and the growing popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets. As the world's second-largest producer of mushrooms, India has a strong foundation for both domestic consumption and exports. Additionally, the lower cost of Indian mushrooms compared to their international counterparts makes them attractive to consumers.

Top Mushroom Producing States in India

1. Bihar

Bihar is India's largest mushroom producer, accounting for 10.82% of the country's total production. In 2021-22, the state produced over 28,000 metric tons of mushrooms, a significant increase from previous years.

2. Odisha

Odisha ranks third in mushroom production, contributing more than 9% to the national output. The state is known for its oyster and cremini mushroom farming, producing 23,700 metric tons annually.

3. Haryana

Haryana produces 13,200 metric tons of mushrooms per year, making up 5.38% of the national production. The Sonipat district is particularly notable for its successful mushroom cultivation efforts.

4. Maharashtra

Maharashtra is the second-largest mushroom producer after Bihar, accounting for 9.89% of the country's total production. The state is well-known for cultivating button and shiitake mushrooms.

5. Punjab

Punjab has approximately 400 mushroom producers, with an average annual production of 45,000 to 48,000 metric tons. The state's mushroom industry is expanding steadily due to rising demand and government support.

6. Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh, particularly Solan, Kullu, Shimla, and Sirmour districts, is a significant mushroom producer. The state benefits from a collaboration with the United Nations Development Project (UNDP), which provides technical know-how to farmers and promotes the cultivation of white button mushrooms.

7. Uttar Pradesh

Mushroom cultivation is rapidly growing in Uttar Pradesh, with over 2000 growers currently engaged in the industry. Milky mushroom cultivation, in particular, offers farmers profits up to five times higher than those from button mushrooms.

Other states like Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Karnataka also contribute to India's mushroom production, highlighting the widespread potential for mushroom farming across the country.

The mushroom industry in India holds immense potential for growth and profitability. With favorable market trends, cost advantages, and government support, mushroom cultivation can significantly enhance farmers' incomes and contribute to the country's agricultural diversity. 

As the demand for nutritious and versatile foods like mushrooms continues to rise, India's position in the global mushroom market looks promising, offering delicious and healthy options for both domestic and international consumers.

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