Awareness about Scientific Mushroom Cultivation Practices among the Women Entrepreneurs of Himachal Pradesh
Mushroom cultivation has been recognized as cost effective/remunerative enterprise particularly for the rural women but awareness about scientific mushroom cultivation technology plays a significant role in its adoption as an enterprise. The study conducted on a proportionate sample 250 mushroom growing women entrepreneurs selected from ten districts of Himachal Pradesh revealed that a majority of them had joint family system with 4 to 8 members and agriculture as main occupation with less than ten bighas of land holding. They had more than five years of farming experience and taking one crop of white button mushroom, they were fully ware about some of the recommended practices/ technologies like crop management, size of mushroom unit, methods of compost making and economics of mushroom yet they were either not aware or partially aware about methods of spawn making, recycling of spent mushroom substrate and preservation techniques of mushroom which require concerted efforts by the extension agencies to make them aware through mass media and organising short duration training programmes for them. There was a positive and significant association of mushroom species grown and mushroom crops taken per annum with the level of awareness implying that with increased awareness the farm women were found to grow more than one crop of recommended species of mushroom.
Keywords - Remunerative enterprise, Spawn, Preservation, Compost, Recycling, Short duration.