FPO based training to marketing model for sustainability of mushroom production by women group at Varanasi: An ICAR-IIVR ingenuity

Tue, 20 September 2022

Farmer’s Producer Organization (FPO) based extension delivery model performs better than the conventional extension delivery model. For assessing the efficiency of FPO based extension model, an initiative was taken at ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi by conceptualizing ‘Training to Marketing Model’ in mushroom production. Training programme on Nutritional security and women empowerment through mushroom production was organised during last week of August, 2021 for 20 farm women among whom 10 were FPO members and rest 10 were not associated with any FPO. It was a three days residential training programme and hands on training was provided to them through learning by doing approach. After completion of the training, they were asked to prepare mushroom bags and start mushroom production at their household level. After one month, during last week of September 2021, team of scientists from ICAR-IIVR visited the villages to see the progress in mushroom production. And it was disappointing to see that, the mushroom bags were very poorly managed and were full of coprinus (the unwanted fungus grows due to unhealthy conditions and mismanagement of the bags). We were upset and thought that, the training effort was in vain like many others.

The good thing happened next morning. Three women belonged to FPO category came back to IIVR and told that, after returning from the training they forgot many of the aspects regarding take care of the mushroom bags resulted the failure and requested for another training. Being the members of FPO and peer pressure might have motivated them to return back and work for prosperity. On the other hand, the non-FPO women did not turn up, because they might not get any peer pressure and motivation to prosper.

So, another one day workshop was organised to recapitulate the things and only interested 10 women were selected for the workshop. In the month of November 2021, the women group invited us for a visit and we were so happy to see that each and every mushroom unit was well maintained with bumper production of milky white oyster mushroom.