Hundreds of plastic bottles and several kilograms of agricultural waste determined a brand new existence, way to professors at the MCM DAV College for Women in Chandigarh.
Inspired by way of an initiative specializing in stable waste control at their college, the professors, at the side of students, cultivated species of mushrooms that now not simplest utilised big portions of waste but additionally empowered rural folks of Chandigarh.
About a year and a 1/2 in the past, the Chandigarh university had initiated a programme that encouraged the lecturers and college students to plot revolutionary, novel thoughts to manage liquid and stable waste.
Among the many thoughts initiated, changed into one approximately cultivating oyster mushrooms inside the college campus. Assistant Professors Vandana Sharma and Sandeep Kaur spearheaded this initiative and were given their students to help them out within the path.
The Better India spoke to Kaur about the novelty of this idea and the way it’s going to gain nearby groups.
She answers, “There is a lack of understanding approximately the fitness benefits of mushrooms in the rural groups. We are familiar most effective with the button mushrooms but there are numerous different fit to be eaten species that may be grown. Since mushroom is basically a fungus, it calls for very less investment however is a completely profitable crop.”
Lack of space is a chief obstacle for farmers who want to experiment with a brand new crop. Mushroom cultivation solves this.
She provides, “It calls for very much less space to grow. In fact, if you begin cultivating oyster mushrooms in a 2-litre tender-drink bottle, it will provide you with a yield of about zero.5 kg in the first batch itself.”
This, she says, will gain farmers and rural ladies. “They can domesticate a profitable crop without investing tons in terms of land or finance.”
The Food Science Department school elaborates that the initial idea was now not to utilise plastic bottles as pots. Rather, it became simplest to eliminate agricultural waste in a right, green way.
The Chandigarh professors had been spearheading the reason of farmers in Punjab and Haryana burning stubble after harvest. Each kilogram of hay burnt contributed to air pollutants in several components of Northern India. And so, they were hoping to utilise the stubble as fertiliser for mushrooms.
“But as we began the project, we puzzled why we couldn’t use plastic bottles as pots for the fungi cultivation. So plastic bottles from the university campus had been wiped clean and sterilised to have mushrooms developing in them,” says Kaur.
Elaborating on why it’s far crucial, especially for farmers, to be aware about the kinds of mushrooms, she stated that first off, it’s going to assist them growth their income through a large margin.
Apart from that, the nutrition it gives is unlike no other unmarried vegetarian meals.
“Apart from helping the farmers, the oyster or dhingri as they’re referred to as in Hindi, is extremely beneficial for the customers. They deliver micro in addition to macronutrients.
Low on fat and carbohydrates, the safe to eat fungi are high on proteins and fibre. They also are notable assets of micronutrients like iron, zinc and magnesium.
If vegetarian families, particularly ladies, start eating mushrooms in their normal food plan, the deficiencies of those minerals can be tackled very without difficulty,” explains Kaur.
For eight months because the assignment began, the crew of instructors and college students have been experimenting on moisture and temperature tiers to look which combination might enhance the boom of the mushrooms.
The first batch of seeds was procured from Solan in Himachal Pradesh but now, the university has evolved their very own spawn for the cultivation.