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KVK, Kargil and JU organize one day capacity building workshop for farm women

KARGIL: To sensitize and create awareness amongst stakeholders, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Kargil of SKUAST- Kashmir, in collaboration with the Department of Botany, University of Jammu organized one-day Capacity Building Workshop for farm women on the wild edible mushroom resources and their nutritional importance under the National Mission for Himalayan Studies (NMHS) project on ‘Database Development on Diversity and Indigenous Knowledge on Mushrooms towards their cultivation and conservation in Trans Himalayan district of Kargil'sanctioned to Prof. Yash Pal Sharma, Principal Investigator and Prof Rupam Kapoor, Co-PI, while Dr. Nassreen F.Kacho, Scientist, Plant Pathology of KVK, Kargil is the local implementing partner.

Addressing the gathering of prospective farm women of Kargil, Prof. Sharma highlighted the diversity and importance of wild mushroom resources and their socio-economic potential in the Himalayan UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. With an ever-increasing population and growing incidence of malnutrition, the wild edible mushrooms can be an alternative source of food security and alleviating nutritional deficiencies prevailing in the population besides extending several health benefits. Therefore, there is an ardent need for domestication and cultivation of wild edible mushrooms available in local domains of Kargil.

"Realizing the significance and relevance of the proposed studies, NMHS has extended the support to undertake the research in this direction in the underexplored locations of the trans- Himalayan region of Kargil" informed Prof Sharma.

He further opined that profitable mushroom cultivation requires close attention, experience, and skills, and therefore the objective of the workshop was to create awareness and impart skills amongst the participating women on the cultivation techniques of growing wild mushrooms. These wild edible mushrooms once domesticated can be grown throughout the season under controlled atmospheric conditions. Developed on a large scale, the delicacy of these non-green vegetables can become a common dietary supplement in near future to provide low-calorie food, cheap yet quality proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients. More importantly, mushroom cultivation would ultimately generate plenty of employment avenues for the rural youth, hoped Prof Sharma, a mushroom researcher from Jammu.

Earlier, Dr. Nassreen F. Kacho, Scientist, KVK, Kargil extended a formal welcome to Prof Sharma and his team of researchers from the University of Jammu for organizing the workshop at Kargil. She also gave a brief presentation of the mushroom cultivation activities undertaken at KVK, Kargil. "In Kargil, the ‘Dhingri' mushroom cultivation has been recently introduced for the first time by KVK, Kargil and the results of the cultivation are promisingly encouraging, informed Dr.Kacho.During the proceedings of the workshop, several queries put forth by the participating women were also answered by the experts.

It is pertinent to mention here that the above-sanctioned project of NMHS involves the collection and identification of mushroom diversity, traditional knowledge, cultivation, and conservation of wild mushrooms of Kargil.

During the workshop, Dr. Tahir Mehmood, Project Fellow, spoke on the cultivation aspects of wild edible mushrooms while Syed Azhar, SRF informed the participants about the different schemes for entrepreneurship ventures. Ms. Parveena Akhtar, a renowned entrepreneur of Kargil and a social activist doing work on women empowerment proposed the formal vote of thanks.

 

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