A successful idea recently developed by IIHR- Bengaluru provides the privilege to harvest and buy mushrooms to the consumers right at their doorstep.
ICAR: India Institute Of Horticultural Research (Bengaluru) has been doing a tremendous job since its establishment. IIHR has advanced in providing new varieties, techniques and researches in the field of fruits, flowers and vegetable production. Still, in recent decades production of various mushrooms, improvement in mushroom spawn and its production machinery, value-added and fortified products have taken the limelight.
And the mushroom production has grabbed the attention of farmers as it provides prosperous employment among the rural and semi-urban people. And the majority of women showing their interest in the production and selling of value-added mushroom products like mushroom fortified instant rasam Mix, Arka mushroom chutney powder, Mushroom momos, milkshakes, Mashroom chakki aata, papad and the list goes on. IIHR played a crucial role in developing all of these products.
The previous year on the second day of the National Horticulture Fair (February 6, 2020) held at the ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR). The honourable dignitaries have inaugurated a solar-powered tricycle named Arka mushroom cart that carries ready to harvest mushrooms from door to door. This cart received an overwhelming response from the majority of farmers and stakeholders who visited the fair.
Innovators from IIHR who designed this cart state that they have arranged mushroom bag holding chambers with dimensions of 1.5 x 1 x 1 m with the material made up of aluminium frames and fittings. Externally, the whole frame has a nylon mesh covering to protect insects’ entry and facilitate aeration. A layer of locally available gunny bags is covered all around and is frequently wetted to maintain the required moisture amount. It has the capacity of holding 36 mushroom substrate bags of 1 to 2 kgs. They set a 30 W DC misting diaphragm pump inside the chamber to wet the gunny bags to manage relative humidity through evaporative cooling that can be operated either by electric power or using a Solar power system with a 300 W panel, inverter, 12V storage battery and a timer.
The entire chamber with all the setup is mounted on a tricycle powered by a 48V, 750 W DC geared motor. A voltage controller and Lithium-Ion battery of 24 Ah to store solar power to source DC power for the geared motor and mist pump. Finally, on the rooftop of the frame, solar panels were installed.
They also described that the cost of the pedalling cart would be less than 80,000 INR. And the automated solar one might cost a bit more.
This cart supplies flushing bags of mushrooms that are ready to get harvested. Vending fresh mushrooms to the consumer will make mushrooms a part of a daily diet; this helps mitigate malnutrition, and the mushroom sales will also rise.
Benefits of Arka Mushroom cart :
- A new source of employment.
- Reduce post-harvest loss.
- Effectual amount generation as it reduces the competition as compared to the market.
- No need to invest in the packaging of mushrooms.
- Customer satisfaction as they have the privilege to pick on their own.
Arka Mushroom cart has been a hugely successful innovation, but this brilliant thing is currently confined only to the areas nearby Bengaluru. It requires awareness so that this Arka mushroom cart generate employment by vending at the doorstep across India.