Button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) is the most popular variety, fetches high price, still dominating the Indian and International market. It contributes about 90 per cent of total country’s production as against its global share of about 40 per cent. The white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) is grown on compost based on various agricultural wastes and animal manure. The composting process is a high temperature self sustained fermentation, which results in partial break down of lignin and cellulose.
It fixes unstable forms of nitrogen into stable complexes, favour rapid increase in microbial population (fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes and yeasts) and eliminates harmful pathogens, competitors and pests. This process results in formation of highly selective substrate compost for the growth of mushroom mycelium. The classic “short method of composting” by Sinden and Huuser (1953) was turning point in making compost more efficiently and in shorter duration. This is completed in two parts (i) out door (ii) indoor pasteurization. white button mushrooms or commercial mushrooms, they are available year-round and are used in soups, salads, casseroles or eaten raw.
The current Indian scenario is quite encouraging with an overall increase in production by 5 to 6 times. During the last one decade, estimated production is likely to cross 50,000 tons of all types of mushrooms. However, this is very small quantity if the vast market potential of this large country is to be fully exploited. Mushroom industry has a bright future in India, chiefly because of large quantity of agro by products and agro-waste generated, as well as availability of large and cheap labour force. India exports the highest quantity of the mushroom produced in the country to USA. Netherlands and China account for 60% of the export of mushrooms. Germany is the largest importer and France and UK are large producers as well as consumers. As a whole you can invest in this project without risk and earn profit.
Few Indian major players are as under
• A S R Agro Ltd.
• Agro Dutch Inds. Ltd.
• Classic Mushrooms Ltd.
• Flex Foods Ltd.
• Himalya International Ltd.
• Indo Britain Agro Farms Ltd.