Following his tremendous success in scientific farming of mushroom, Ningombam Rolendro, a 37-year-old young entrepreneur of Manipur is becoming a source of inspiration for many others. Currently, Rolendro has been in the limelight as his bold initiative has also opened up ample job avenues in the agricultural sector in Manipur.
Eventually, mushroom cultivation has been gaining a renewed footing in the state of Manipur owing to its low input cost. Rolendro has developed the innovatively grown and packed mushroom sacks as his source of income.
The favourable climatic conditions of Manipur have encouraged Rolendro and his team to explore a larger market which will accordingly increase the volume of employment opportunities for the youths to take up mushroom farming as a blooming trade for better sustainability.
"Especially during pick season, we can earn about 1.5 lakhs per month while during off season we earn hardly around 50-60 thousand,” said Rolendro.
Rolendro started his mushroom business under the name Jamini Mushroom Processing Industry. Presently, he grows 3,000 packets of mushroom in his farm and sells 20 kg of mushroom daily at the wholesale rate of Rs 130 per kg. Hence, on an average, 1.5 to 3 tonnes of mushroom is produced under the farm. So far, more than 700 farmers have visited his farm and acquired the know-how of mushroom cultivation.
Out of six varieties grown in Manipur, three varieties of mushroom are grown in winter while the rest are cultivated in the summer season. The local farmers in the state are engaged in the cultivation of bottle-mushroom in winter and the local products are selling in the markets of different parts of the region.
Rolendro’s Jamini Mushroom Processing Industry has so far employed three regular staff which is acting as a platform for them to earn their livelihood for better sustainability. The best favourable season to grow this mushroom in Manipur is from September to February.
Sharing his satisfaction, Marjit Thokchom, a staff in the Rolendro’s industry said, "This opportunity is good for me as it helps me to cover my expenses. I earn around Rs 8,500 monthly. In this farm, we have 8 mushrooms rooms with 300 racks each in a room."
In the meantime, Rolendro has urged the Manipur government to provide more awareness and training programs to enhance the reach and benefit through mushroom cultivation.
Notably, in Manipur, the grown packed mushroom farming is gradually emerging as a thriving business for many educated unemployed youths.