NETROKONA: There are only a few people, who can turn their pastimes into paychecks.
Minhaj Uddin Ahmed and his younger brother Miraj Uddin Ahmed from Amtala, a small village in Netrokona's Kendua, are two such persons, who started mushroom farming as hobby but now they are cultivating it commercially.
Not only this, many people in this area are now becoming mushroom growers, following these two siblings' footstep.
The siblings, who are now producing more than 20 kilograms of mushroom per day, said that they had started it all out of fascination.
Minhaj is a second-year student of Anandamohan College's Bangla department, while Miraj is a HSC candidate from Kendua Government College in Netrakona.
They told the FE that they started doing something when their educational institutions were announced closed for the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
"We had an ample of free time, and began watching YouTube. Some mushroom farming stories encouraged us, and we finally decided to cultivate it," said Minhaj.
He added, "First we started farming by watching YouTube. Then we took training."
In October 2021, the two brothers received a 10-day of training in mushroom farming.
They are now seeing a success in growing mushrooms and their seedlings.
"We get orders online, and deliver our produce to the buyers," said Miraj.
"Moreover, many people visit us for buying mushroom. Seeing our success, a number of people are becoming interested in mushroom cultivation. And some have started farming," he added.
"We try to help them with everything," the young entrepreneur also said.
Mushrooms can be grown anywhere. And anyone can cultivate mushroom if they want, said Minhaj adding that anyone can get good profit with less capital by cultivating mushroom.
The two brothers named their firm as NMC Mushroom Centre.
"Since our farm is doing well, we are expanding it by extending two more. The production of our firm will increase several times from next month. At present we are selling raw mushrooms at Tk 250/300 per kg. And dried mushrooms are being sold for Tk 1,100 per kg", said Minhaj.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Shahjahan Kabir said, "Mushroom is very good for our health. It is rich in medicinal properties, nutritious, and tasty.
"There is no risk in mushroom cultivation. It can be cultivated everywhere," he added.