Jawzjan women embark on growing mushrooms
SHIBERGHAN (Pajhwok): A number of poor women in northern Jawzjan province have grown mushrooms in their fields after receiving training.
Mushrooms are grown in foreign countries and have recently been cultivated in some areas of Afghanistan, giving good result.
Two types of mushrooms are grown in Jawzjan province. One type is known as wild mushroom which is used in medicines and another is normal mushroom which is delicious when cooked with eggs.
Hajira, a resident of Shiberghan, the capital of Jawjzan, who received training in growing mushrooms, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the provincial agriculture and livestock department was supporting poor women like her and had provided them all farming tools free of cost for growing mushrooms.
“Around 15 women have grown mushrooms in Kok Ganbad village of Shiberghan and each of us had so far harvested the crop for 12 times and we each time earned 12,000 afghanis,” she said.
About how mushrooms were grown, she said, “First we wet chaff in a barrel for 24 hours, then we took out the husks and dry them, then we mix the chaff with wheat bran and lime powder and put them in fabric bags and steam them.”
Then more chaff was added and pure mushrooms seeds were put over it and left for 20 days until the mushrooms were grown. “We keep temperature at the room at 25 centigrade every day,” she added.
Growing mushrooms was a good business for poor women who could earn enough and improve their economy, Hajira said.
Shah Gul, 50, another woman from Kok Ganbad village, also said only a fewer number of people in Jawzjan knew about growing mushrooms. She learnt growing mushrooms from other women and had collected eight harvests from her field so far.
“But we face problem in selling them. The agriculture and livestock department buys our mushrooms but there are only a few customers in the market, we ask agriculture officials to help us grow other plants as well,” she said.
Provincial agriculture and livestock director, Mohammad Rahman Arghandiwal, said they had launched a training program for women to grow mushrooms.
He said before the training program, it was not sure if mushrooms would yield positive result in Jawzjan, but the women trained had so far collected the crop 40 times.
He said his department now was planning to train women in collecting mushroom seeds to make them independent in the area.
More measures would be taken to find market for mushrooms and traditionalize the plant next year, he added.
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