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Agri dept conducts successful trials of Shiitake mushroom cultivation

Agri dept conducts successful trials of Shiitake mushroom cultivation
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Jammu: The agriculture department of Jammu and Kashmir has successfully completed field trials of the cultivation of one of the costliest mushrooms, Shiitake.

Shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes), which is native to Japan and China, is a type of edible fungus, and contains a chemical called lentinan, which some medical professionals use to boost immune system, according to officials.

“We have completed successful trials of this variety of mushroom. It is an achievement for us,” Agriculture Department Director K K Sharma told PTI.

Sharma said the department carried out two field trials in the climatic conditions of Jammu and these trials were successful.

“In one of the trails, we used wooden chips and saw dust, which resulted in fruiting bodies. We are positive that mushrooms will also start growing in the next few days.

“The second trial was conducted using Japanese technology at multiple locations on blocks. These blocks were provided by the Mushroom institute Palampur in Himachal Pradesh (HP),” Sharma said, adding, “These trails also turned out to be a success as we noted the growth of fruiting bodies here as well.”

Now that the trails are successful, these technologies will be shared with farmers for mass cultivation of this mushroom, according to the director. “These technologies will be taken to the farmers in the next six months,” he said.

According to the officials, it will be considered as a move to bring an economic boom in the farming sector with regard to the mushroom cultivation.

Shiitake is a high-value mushroom varient, Sharma noted, adding, “It is considered as an immunity booster and is a preferred ingredient in soups. It is even used in medicines.”

Shiitake mushrooms are the second-most commonly eaten mushrooms in the world. “Lentinan and other chemicals in Shiitake mushroom might stimulate the immune system,” he said.


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