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Mushroom King of Rajasthan: Meet the Farmer Who Churns a Huge Profit by Cultivating Mushrooms

Shigraf Zahbi
Shigraf Zahbi
Motaram Sharma
Motaram Sharma

Krishi Jagran conducted a special session with Motaram Sharma for its Farmer the Brand (FTB) section.  

Motaram Sharma is a mushroom farmer based in Sikar, Rajasthan. In the recent years, mushroom cultivation has become quite popular among farmers but Sharma has been practicing it for over three decades! 

He cultivates a wide range of mushrooms including button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and milky mushrooms. His mushrooms are sold for as much as 100 Rupees per kilogram to 2 lakh Rupees per kilogram. He has also earned awards like Krishi Ratna Award and Krishi Samrat Award, and has been given the title of ‘Mushroom King.’ 

Earning Ten Times More as a Farmer 

Sharma explains that with the help of mushroom cultivation, farmers can actually earn ten times more than their present income (Krishi Jagran had also previously placed mushroom cultivation among the 20 most profitable agricultural businesses in India). Mushroom farming requires neither a huge investment nor a large plot of land. The roof under which mushrooms are cultivated can be used as a water source for mushroom farming throughout the year. There are some mushrooms which can be grown without air-conditioning in India like milky mushrooms and button mushrooms.

On the other hand some mushrooms necessarily require air-conditioning. Sharma suggests farmers to set out with those varieties of mushrooms which most suits their investment limits. The only things required would be shade and proper ventilation. Sharma further encourages farmers to get trained in mushroom farming at various state training facilities. He himself provides training to many aspiring mushroom cultivators.  

Can Mushroom Cure Diseases? 

In the year 2010, Sharma became the first farmer in India to have cultivated ganoderma mushrooms (Reishi mushrooms) and he was awarded for this achievement by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi. Talking about ganoderma mushrooms, Sharma reveals that there is no match to this mushroom variety and that it cannot be praised enough. Research has shown that this particular mushroom has anti-oxidant properties and complex sugars called beta-glucans. According to some lab studies, these compounds can help stop the spread and growth of cancer cells.  

Sharma says that earning profit is never the main aim of a farmer; the lives of ‘annadatas’ are all about giving the world health and prosperity. He tells Krishi Jagran that there are many diseases for which there is no cure even in allopathic medicines. For such diseases, Sharma explains, nature has given human beings food substances like Cordyceps Militaris. He advises farmers to produce common mushrooms before stepping into the production of medicinal mushrooms.  

5 Most Important Factors in Mushroom Cultivation 

Sharma highlights five most important factors that play a huge role in successful mushroom cultivation: 

  • Knowledge

To avoid getting duped by fraudsters, it is necessary for farmers to have the basic knowledge about mushroom cultivation along with proper professional training.  

  • Spawns

Farmers should either make their own spawns or obtain it from a governmental research institute.  

  • Timely Harvest

Harvesting the mushrooms in a timely manner is a very important step to ensure its quality.  

  • Marketing

It is necessary to market mushrooms at the right time to prevent the stock from rotting.  

  • Innovation

Sharma gives his own example to explain how mushrooms must be self-marketed. He talks about how his business in Rajasthan uses them to make health supplements which can be consumed by people of all ages.  

A Message by Rajasthan’s Mushroom King 

Sharma urges the young students of India to not just study for a salaried job but start a new venture of their own. He says that the future of mushroom cultivation in India is very bright and more and more farmers should try to build a fortune in it.  

Motaram Sharma

Motaram Sharma

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Mushroom Farming

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