In a first Bhutanese farmer grows Shiitake mushrooms year round

Initially Karsang Dorji’s mushroom fruiting logs were rejected by the National Mushroom Centre (NMC), where he invested around Nu.130,000. Instead of loosing spirit and giving up, he studied the reason for rejection and came up with his own technique to grow mushrooms year round instead of the two season cultivation advised by NMC.

So after his conception of such technique to grow mushroom year round came to fruition, he also received appreciation and help from the officials from NMC and they assisted him in procuring around 5,000 mushroom fruiting logs to further increase the production of such mushrooms in Tsimalakha, where his present firm is based.

However, growing and managing Shiitake mushroom requires a lot of efficiency and hard work. Mr.Karsang says that many interested growers are taking up the project of Shiitake mushrooms in the country, but he said it is very important to properly manage and have the knowledge on how to carefully tend the mushroom fruiting logs and sheds.

For the successful outcome of the mushroom cultivation, the location should be carefully selected with availability of water source and proper construction of mushroom growing sheds to give a favorable environment during the year round cultivation. The selection of fruiting logs for the growth of Shiitake mushroom also needs to be carefully chosen. “I used different types of oak family tree but I found Sisi wood as the best log for better outcome,” he said. Inoculation and incubation process is also very important to manage the growth of mycelium (mycelium grow outwards to look for water and nutrients which it transports to the fruiting body which help in the growth of mushroom).

Mr. Karsang said that with the technique he has come up for growing Shiitake mushroom year round, there will always be maximum outcome with less or no loss at all. He currently owns two successful firms for production of mushrooms, located in Chukha and Tshimalakha. Mr.Karsang now plans to establish such firms in and it will be all set to function by 2018. With such deep knowledge about the particular fungi and his own innovative techniques on growing them, he plans to open a consultancy service for those wishing to take on Shiitake mushroom growing project with the help from the NMC.

In order to help preserve the mushrooms from perishing and going to waste, he suggested the Shiitake growers to dry their mushrooms for preservation through the Green Manufacturing and Repairing (GMR) dryers available near Babesa.

About Sonam Yangdon

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