By Prakash Chandra Bhattarai, Damauli, Jan. 17: Makhan Gurung of Byas Municipality-14 spent many years in Iraq, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia in course of his foreign employment. But as he returned his home, he started mushroom farming, which has made him rethink about having to go abroad for earning bread.
“I spent many years in foreign employment but I was not able to earn much. In fact, my earning from mushroom farming is higher than whatever I was earning abroad,” said Gurung.
Gurung started mushroom farming in partnership with Taka Bahadur Gurung at Sondhe of Byas-13. Apart from mushroom farming, Gurung is also involved in avocado and vegetable farming in around three Ropanis of land near his home.
Makhan and Taka Bahadur’s mushroom farm is located on land leased near Buddha Singh Marg of Sondhe. “We have been earning a handsome amount of money from two types of mushrooms grown in five tunnels,” said Taka Bahadur. “We earn up to Rs. 150,000 from one tunnel while our operation cost for a tunnel is Rs. 90,000.”
He added that around Rs. 300,000 profit is earned from all five tunnels from one batch of mushrooms.
“We grow mushroom from Ashoj to Chaitra (October to March) as, during the monsoon season, the rainwater and breeze affect the tunnel,” said Taka Bahadur, adding, “From Baisakh till Ashoj, we grow wheat, corn, millets, and vegetables.”
The mushrooms are being produced by hanging the packs of boiled straws brought from Siraha inside the tunnel. “As it takes 15 days for the mushrooms to grow inside the tunnel, we get to sell them in every 15 days,” said Taka Bahadur.
The mushrooms are sold in Damauli at Rs. 160 per kilogram.
With the thriving farming business in the homeland, Makhan has now stopped thinking about foreign employment to earn a living. Instead, he suggests the youths who are considering foreign employment to start commercial farming or livestock farming.
“Even though we have not received any training, we have been successful in growing mushrooms on a commercial scale due to our practical knowledge,” said Makhan.
The Byas Municipality has provided 50 per cent grant on purchasing mushroom seeds.