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Minting money with mushrooms

Attending a trainnig programme on mushroom cultivation by Indian Council of Agricultural Research changed the life of Lalmuni Devi, a landless woman in Bihar who struggled to earn for her visually imapaired husband and a mentally challenged son.

entertainment Updated: Mar 07, 2008 16:50 IST
Avinash Kumar
Avinash Kumar
Hindustan Times

Mushrooms are Lalmuni Devi’s gold. A landless women in Bihar’s Patna district, the woman in her forties had before her a life of struggle with a visually impaired husband and a mentally challenged son.

Till she struck gold by cultivating mushrooms. Now, there’s hardly any space in her house. It’s full of her magic fungus. <b1>

About four years ago, Lalmuni attended a training programme on mushroom cultivation by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

“I decided to practice it at home and the results were encouraging. I also found market for the produce and that got me involved more seriously. Since I did not have much space, I utilised my hut,” she told HT. With the mushrooms came money.

“At present, I get seeds for Rs 50 a kg and sell the produce at the rate of Rs 80 a kg. It fetches me around Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 for each yield,” Lalmuni said. “All I need is loan to expand my work.”

“Yeh to mere liye sona-chandi hai (The mushrooms are like gold and silver to me). I could marry off my daughter because I earned something from it,” an said, emotional Lalmuni, happy that she could buy her daughter some jewellery.