Mushroom’s Immense Sales Potential
Mushrooms are considered exotic foods and recognized as highly nutritious while being relatively inexpensive, especially for non-meat eaters. Mushrooms offer huge potential in good value addition & sales to restaurants and even exports.
Training in growing mushrooms is particularly useful for enterprise groups who like to diversify products and at the same time, earn profits from small investments. This is because mushrooms can be grown even in small spaces like unused rooms or spaces under tanks.
VKP Promotion of Use of Technology in Business
As a part of encouraging entrepreneurs to undertake new ventures, VKP has chosen technology & internet-based activities such as the Internet of Things (IoT) as one of its key areas. It trains entrepreneurs and SHG members to incorporate new technologies to increase outputs and earn additional income. IoT technology provides remote monitoring of variables like building operations, labour productivity, and equipment productivity. Users can streamline their operations with the aid of this clever, cost-effective technology. In the case of mushrooms, it provides remote monitoring of its growth parameters.
Training in IoT- based Mushroom Cultivation
VKP provided training in growing various types of mushrooms and producing its value-added products through seasoned entrepreneur cum trainer Mr B Senthil Kumar. Initially, the training was provided to 20 SHG members from Pudur panchayat, Thiruporur block, Chengalpattu district. The training covers cultivating different types of mushrooms like milky, button among other varieties. Fertilizer bags called Ready-to-Fruit bags or RTFs are provided to grow mushrooms.
“While some mushroom varieties like milky are easy to cultivate and take one month to harvest, others take longer, more than a month.”, says Ms Thara Sudakar, a beneficiary who has benefitted from this training. “This is a replicable model and can be taken up by new members”, she said.
Remote Monitoring & Adjusting of Parameters
In mushrooms, the parameters that need to be monitored and controlled are temperature, humidity and soil moisture among others. Special chambers equipped with control equipment are needed that require adjustments at regular intervals by people. But with the help of IoT, internet-powered apps from a smartphone can easily control the humidity and temperature remotely. This remote monitoring and adjusting of mushroom growth conditions can be done from anywhere, thus reducing human intervention to a minimum.
“With the help of this robust technology, entrepreneurs can decrease equipment wear & tear and unplanned downtime by collecting data continuously and providing real-time insights. Furthermore, this can be monitored from any room, thereby cutting costs.”, says Mr B Senthil Kumar. He organizes training programmes regularly and provides hi-tech IoT-based mushroom cultivation solutions integrating both software and hardware. His company called iYARKAi Tech Lab Pvt Ltd also provides mushroom entrepreneur development programmes.
IoT – Transforming the Future of Food Industries
The advantages of using IoT for mushroom cultivation are immense. As Mr Senthil says “The food and retail industries can monitor the temperature of any freezer, refrigerator or food heating equipment using remote temperature and humidity monitoring. They can now easily continue to adhere to regulatory requirements and provide their customers with high-quality food goods”.