Twoandahalfweeks in India – a day at TNAU and the milky mushrooms

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One of the things that will remain in my mind is the milky mushroom production we have seen during our stay at the Tamil Nadu Agriculture university (TNAU) in Coimbatore.
The TNAU focuses on Agricultural Education and Research and supports the State Agricultural Department by delivering research products.

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When we arrived at the university our group is very welcome and several professors and staff dedicate the entire day to show us their activities: biotechnology, energy park, farming machines, honey production … From agriculture, seed, organic farming, forestry, up to animal husbandry and fishery. Their educational efforts comprise a community e-radio, farm radio programs, agricultural trainings and events, market information, and all information is published on the huge farmers’ portal (http://agritech.tnau.ac.in).

Just a few impressions:

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I am not an expert in agriculture, but it was very interesting to get an overview on the several activities. My favorite one of this day are the milky mushrooms. Maybe because they look that clean and fresh, maybe because they taste and look like our “champignons”. Maybe because I did not even expect to find mushrooms here … who knows.

“Milky mushrooms cultivation is becoming an important part of farming in India as it delivers huge opportunities to create additional nutrition sources, income, employment generation and organic manure production.”, we were explained.

It can be grown on straw of paddy, wheat, ragi, maize/bajra/cotton stalks and leaves, sugarcane bagasse, cotton and jute wastes, dehulled maize cobs, tea/coffee waste etc. As cereal straw (paddy/wheat) is easily available in abundance, the milky mushroom production does not require a lot of investments…

I admit that during our travel I did not see any mushroom farming out of the university. No production site, no mushroom farmer. But India is big and our stay – although we have seen and visited so many things – much too short.
So, not finding a mushroom farmer this time can just mean one thing: this visit in India should not be my last. There is still that much to discover in India!

And not just cars …. 😉

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Related material:
The coconut tree climber and a curious thing (video) http://wp.me/p2yD3D-1mA

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