For mushroom cultivation a moist compost without lumps is required. Compost prepared using conventional methods forms lots of lump which are broken manually. Once compost is collected, the next step is to mix it well manually by deploying labor. Compost Maker for Mushroom Cultivation addresses this requirement without labor.
Jitendra started Mushroom cultivation in the year of 1996, after learning techniques of cultivation from his maternal uncle in Himachal Pradesh. In year 2002, one bed of mushroom fell due to misbalance, as the bamboos were not placed properly inside the soil. It forced Jitendra to make some machine for turning of compost placed on the ground. He developed a machine for turning compost in 2006 but it was suitable for dry compost only and the requirement for mushroom cultivation is moist compost. In 2008, while the compost for mushroom farming had been collected, labor shortage threated to spoil all the compost. Jitendra realized that he should mix the compost well before it gets spoiled. Borrowing money from his brother, after some hits and trails he could develop machine in 2009. The Compost Making Machine for Mushroom This is an electricity operated machine, which moves in a straight line cutting through compost heap, turning and mixing all material, adding moisture whenever required, and heaping it back in a line. The innovator grows the white button mushroom variety whose season is September to March. Compost making and preparation of bed and shed (using bamboo) for cultivation are started in parallel. The material to be made into compost is mixed and spread in the field in rows about 4 feet wide and 4 feet high, it is continuously mixed and moisture added so that it does not dry. Each row needs to be turned/mixed 8-9 times with a gap of two days between each turning. The whole process takes about 28 days. The compost generally gets ready by the 7thturning/ mixing. The pH and moisture content is also monitored regularly. The compost prepared needs to be moist but not sticky, just optimum. The compost making machine has two motors, 10hp for rotating the blades and 2hp which powers rear wheels. It can cover a heap of 200 ft. in length, 4 feet width and 4 feet height in 25 minutes. Only one person is required to operate it. Towards the end of the heap, the machine has to be manually turned. The innovator claims that using this machine the production of mushroom is about 5-10 % more than that through conventional manual process. The machine has several advantages. It can properly turn and mix the compost ensuring that no lumps remain in it. As a result, the incidence of disease (yellow mold) is also less. This machine can add moisture and fungicide as well to control diseases. It can be operated on both hard (pakka like cemented floor) and soft (kachcha like farmer's field) surface easily. Using the machine, the time required for compost preparation also gets reduced considerably. He has made only one machine, there have been some mushroom farmers who have visited him to see his machine. While the ladies of the family do not know much about machine, his brothers have supported him in developing the machine and filing the patent. He plans to further improve it by incorporating a steering so that it can be turned easily at the end of the compost heap. Considering his contribution to the mushroom industry in the country and Haryana in particular, the Directorate of Mushroom Research, Solan gave him the ‘Progressive Mushroom Grower Award-2013’ during the National Mushroom Mela, Solan.
Link: It can properly turn and mix the compost ensuring that no lumps remain in it It helps in reducing the disease of Yellow mold in Mushroom It can add moisture and fungicide as well to control diseases It can be operated on all the surfaces easily - hard (pakka like cemented floor) and soft (kachcha like farmer’s field) Efficiency: Machine can heap mushroom compost of 200 ft. in length, 4 feet width and 4 feet height in 25 minutes. Using this machine, the time required for compost preparation is reduced considerably Production of mushroom is about 5-10 % more than that through the conventional manual process