In Pipli town of Puri district in Odisha, Santosh Mishra's Kalinga Mushroom Centre is a result of his hard work and perseverance. Santosh, a graduate from BJB College in Dandamukundapur village, has brought a revolution in mushroom cultivation in the area. However, Santosh's journey was full of many challenges, but he did not give up at all.
The demand for mushrooms in Indian kitchens is growing quite rapidly. That is why, most of the farmer brothers are inclined towards mushroom cultivation along with traditional crops. However, more than 2000 varieties of mushrooms are found all over the world. But some varieties of mushrooms are consumed the most in India. On the other hand, farmers are making huge profits by cultivating different varieties of mushrooms. Not only this, many farmers are engaged in the interest of their as well as other farmers. In such a situation, today we will discuss about such a successful farmer who is trying to make it successful by giving training not only to himself but also to other farmers.
Santosh Mishra's Kalinga Mushroom Centre in Pipli town of Puri district in Odisha is a result of his hard work and efforts. Santosh, a graduate from BJB College in Dandamukundapur village, has brought a revolution in mushroom cultivation in the area. Although Santosh's journey was full of challenges, he never gave up. Despite being brilliant in studies during graduation, Santosh Mishra could not earn higher education.
In 1989, he participated in the mushroom cultivation training program at Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) in Bhubaneswar. In his media interview, he said that at that time he had Rs 36 of his savings with which he bought four bottles of oyster mushroom spawn (seeds) from OUAT.
Santosh devised a different method for mushroom cultivation and spawn production and since then there has been no looking back. He has set up a spawn production-cum-training centre in his village. where they produce two varieties of seeds. One is the rice straw mushroom (Volvariella volvacea) and the other is the oyster mushroom. He sells Kalinga mushroom seeds to people in Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Assam and Pondicherry at Rs 15 per bottle. They have the capacity to produce 5,000 bottles of spawn per day. Also, he is currently producing 2,000 bottles (Rs 30,000) per day. Santosh is currently planning to make value-added products using mushrooms.
At this training centre, he is already processing mushrooms to prepare pickles, papads, vadis (dry dumplings) and soup powders. At present, oyster mushrooms are machine dried and powdered at the training centre. This powder can be used to prepare pakodas, vadis, papads, pickles, chapatis (mixed with wheat flour), sugar-free biscuits and snacks. For his work, Santosh received the State Award in 2005 and was honoured by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 2011. He received the Global Agriculture Award at the Gujarat Summit in 2013, followed by the Odisha Citizen Award in 2021.