Kamla Devi is busy preparing 250gm-packets of oyster mushrooms at her home in Serengdih tribal hamlet of Naxal-affected Khunti district in Jharkhand. The packets of the much sought after mushrooms will sell for Rs50 each in Ranchi and Jamshedpur towns. Kamla, who lost her husband a few years back, is a mushroom entrepreneur, cultivating them in a corner of her house and earning enough to support her family.
“Unlike vegetables or cereal crops, mushrooms do not require much manual labour, financial investment or time. Mushrooms have a short growth cycle and its cultivation is a good option for women to become financially independent,” says the 34-year-old.