The History of Mushroom Cultivation in India

People have been eating mushrooms for a long time. They used to go the forests and other wild places and based on their personal knowledge of edible and poisonous mushrooms they used to collect the edible ones. Even now some people collect wild mushrooms from the forest and eat them. Sometimes they turn out to be poisonous and have harmful effects. In India the 'Guchhi' mushroom was a delicacy known to the people prior to the 1950's. It came mostly from Kashmir.

Around the early 1950's the government of Himachal Pradesh appointed Shri S.S.Jain as its first Asstt. Plant Pathologist and Mycologist for the state. He worked in the Wild Flower Hall in Chharabra, Shimla. He was touring the interior areas of Himachal to help the apple orchardists and the farmers control the diseases of apples, other fruits and crops like potatoes and wheat. He noticed the poor hand to mouth condition of the poor farmers in the hilly state of HP. He wanted to help them.

While staying with some farmers in interior areas he noticed that there were rotting twigs and branches of apple and other fruit trees and wheat straw in the barn along with cow dung and in the environmental conditions there were a profusion of mushrooms growing in the dark barns.

This led him to think of using the waste material with the farmers for growing edible mushrooms. He searched the literature and found that edible mushrooms were being grown in France and Japan. He made a research proposal on growing of edible mushrooms and got the permission for the same from the state government and obtained the mushroom spawn from Japan and France and started a laboratory in Solan, Shimla Hills and started his research experiments on growing edible mushrooms of Agaricus and other species, in laboratory conditions simulating those found in Himachal Pradesh.

When he was able to grow the mushrooms successfully on substrate prepared from rotting apple tree twigs and branches, cow dung and wheat straw etc. he published the results through the magazine of the HP state Extension department. These results when publicized and brought to the notice of the farmers and the poor people people in the state led to dissemination of information and spawn to them and mushroom farming started in Himachal Pradesh.

The laboratory established by Shri S.S.Jain, the pioneer of mushroom cultivation in India later became the only important centre for training in mushroom cultivation to farmers of Himachal Pradesh and other states as also the mycologists and plant pathologists from all over India. Mr. Seth and others actually worked with Shri Jain and later became important in the area of mushrooms. But it is a fact that Shri SS Jain in Solan successfully completed the first research project in India. Shri Jain left Solan in 1962-63 for Cuttack.

Shri S.S.Jain then became the OSD and set up the first campus and office of the HP Agricultural University in Solan and later joined Central Rice Research Institute,
Cuttack Orissa under the ICAR as a Senior Scientist Plant Pathologist and retired from there in 1978 after having published over a hundred research papers and also having been the Chief Editor of the International Rice journal 'Oryza'. Shri Jain had also done a monographical study of the Stem Rot disease of rice and also discovered the bacteria Xanthomonas oryzae, which caused the Bacterial Blight disease of rice, and Dr Devdath did his Ph.D on this bacteria and disease. Before Shri Jain expired after prolonged coma in Apollo Hospital Delhi and a small nursing home in Baraut, District Baghpat (Meerut), UP, he had been an award-winning President of the Rotary Club Baraut for his excellent social service work also winning International citation from Rotary.

Now the mushroom cultivation in India is something I could not have imagined from what I saw in the laboratory in Solan. I found a huge factory in Maharashtra near Talegaon, Lonavala, where there were huge godowns in a factory where tray upon tray of white beautiful button mushrooms created a sense of wonder and awe in me and I began thinking of the experiments of my father in the small room in Solan way back in the 50's when I was a student and used to walk to his office nearby and have lunch with him in his laboratory. By chance the Mycologist in that factory turned out to be one who had undergone training in the laboratory established by my father in Solan.

Mushroom cultivation has become a huge export oriented industry and large foreign exchange earning business and also profitable for small time growers. Many Universities and State departments of agriculture as also private people are giving training in growing mushrooms, which are mostly, exported and also used in many good hotels in a variety of culinary delights.     


More by :  R. K. Jain

Top | Environment

Views: 4169      Comments: 20

Comment In each state the Deptt of Agriculture would have some scheme for giving help to those who want to grow mushrooms. Please find out from the state deptt of agriculture, Block development offices or panchayat offices.

Rakesh K Jain
02-Aug-2019 23:32 PM

Comment Hi sir,
I am Shakeeb from Amravati. And I am start a mushroom cultivation. So please provide details.

Shakeeb Shaikh
09-Aug-2015 01:37 AM

Comment Hello Sir

I want to learn the art of mushroom cultivation and would like to earn living out of it. Please provide me information about mushroom training. I would like to join the training as early as possible, eagerly waiting for your reply.

Thanks and Regards

Shaleen Jain
26-Jul-2015 07:08 AM

Comment ear sir,
I want to mashroom cultivation in my farm at my village nr. Balasinor in gujarat. please give me the information regarding cultivation of mashroom.
Gordhanbhai N. Patel

Gordhanbhai patel
28-Oct-2014 05:30 AM

Comment I am very keen on knowing how to grown mushroom indoors.

Jyoti Ambre
24-Jun-2014 00:02 AM

Comment I am from jabalpur ..Mp interested in mushroom cultivation and would like to know the details regarding it

Vishal Pawar
16-Dec-2013 12:48 PM

Comment Respected sir,
I m Jani Mehul
I am from Bhavnagar Gujarat. Sir i am interested in Production of button Mushroom. And i want grow Mushroom to the plant of Mushroom in my House So please guide me sir.

Jani Mehul M
07-Dec-2013 12:08 PM

Comment Hi sir,
I m divyesh from ahmedabad. And I m srart a mushroom cultivation. So plz u guide me sir.

Divyesh Patel
12-Jul-2013 01:35 AM

Comment Dear Sir,
I am from Karnataka, and I have experience in farming but not really in Mushroom. I saw a video on Discovery Science and become enthusiastic. I have land of 4 acres with water facility and other resources. Please help me with all requirement I am really interested to start Mushroom Farm In large quantity.
I am ready to make as much investment also.
Yours obediently
M.A. Kabeer

M.A. Kabeer
25-Jun-2013 17:55 PM

Comment Dear sir,
please sent me the adress /componey where mushroom is consumable.My mail id is ajinath_khandave@rediffmail.com
Thanks & Regards,
Ajinath khandave.

Ajinath khandave
24-Apr-2013 02:50 AM

Comment Dear sir,
I am from Godhra Gujarat. Sir i am interested in Production of button Mashrum.Please give me guidance for its basic requirement as well as govt. help. sir, i want to know about its training center in Gujarat which is held by govt.

Kirankumar Sharma
12-Apr-2013 11:16 AM

Comment dear sir
i am in ahmedabad gujarat i wish to start mushroom farming so how i can start
guid me

07-Apr-2013 13:50 PM

Comment Hi,
An from KENYA E.AFRICA....... and really been moved by what am reading on your site over mushroom history and farming.

We have a group and are really interested in mushroom farming.
We have no adequate research and documentation on how to grow, manage and harvest mushroom.

I will really appreciate if you do assist by sending us details on how we can grow
mushroom, the structure and the substrate phenomena and managing it.

Thanks.... hope to hear from you soonest possible.

Again thanks for your great work.


02-Apr-2013 05:59 AM

Comment ear sir,
i live in jalgaon(khandesh) maharashtra i want grow mashroom to the plant of mashroom in my hous please send me thorolly details about farming of mashroom and its marketing proces.................

umesh dinkar sonawane
21-Jan-2013 04:13 AM

Comment Sir,

I would like to grow mushroom farming in ahmedabad, gujarat so please send details as same.

07-Aug-2012 08:35 AM

Comment recpected sir i am interested in oyster mushroom cultivation.i m from Maharashtra.sir plz know me infomation about short time mushroom training courses in india & information of mushroom traning in maharashtra.

Shivaji Jadhav
20-Feb-2012 09:53 AM

Comment dear sir,
i live in shimla h.p. i want grow mashroom to the plant of mashroom i live in middle belt in shimla place of theog please send me thorolly details about mashroom and its marketing processor plz is this banifishal to make money.

05-Dec-2011 11:01 AM

Comment recpected sir i am interested in oyster mushroom cultivation.i m from gujarat.sir plz know me infomation about short time mushroom training couses in india & information of mushroom traning in himachan pradesh.

keyur patel
04-Sep-2011 23:46 PM

Comment sir, usa qoh kah studyante..gah lisud mi aning amu research bahin sa uhong...hinaot tabangan mi nimu..


16-Aug-2011 03:03 AM

Comment Dear Sir,

Respected sir thank you for informing mushrooms history. Sir i am farmer in Vadodara in Gujarat State. sir i am interested mushrooms farming please sir inform mushroom training in Himachal Pardesh and other Government organisation.

J. S. Prajapati

jayesh prajapati
13-Jun-2011 23:53 PM

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