Among India’s leading biodiversity conservation organisations, Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org) is dedicated to supporting communities living in fringe areas of high value conservation landscape to supplement their livelihoods. A variety of initiatives have been undertaken by the organisation to empower community women in these fringe areas. In the Karbi Anglong district of Assam we have been working with a community-based Natural Resource Management programme with an aim to safeguard biodiversity and human well-being.
In such an attempt, women of the Kohora River Basin of Karbi Anglong were provided a training on mushroom cultivation, where they learned about the medicinal properties of the mushroom and how their market value could facilitate a sustainable livelihood.In this two-day long workshop organised by Aaranyak in association with the DBT-sponsored Technology Incubation Center on Mushroom at Bodoland University, a total of 17 women from five villages Chandrasing Rongpi, Phumen Engti, Hemai-Lekthe, Bakring Engti, and Rongtara had participated. The training was organised at the Chandrasing Rongpi Memorial School Kohora Community Resource Center.
The participants enthusiastically learned about every aspect and techniques of mushroom cultivation. Moreover, their participation in the workshop boosted their morale and now they are confident that they could also cultivate and produce good mushrooms and take advantage of market opportunities for a sustainable living.
Experts Amrit Debnath and Mrinmoy Narzary under the guidance of Prof. Sandeep Das, Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology, BU & Director, IQAC, Bodoland University were the resource persons of the workshop. Training was conducted on two mushroom varieties – Paddy Straw Mushroom (Volvariella volvacea) and Milky Mushroom (Calocybe indica) in a scientific manner. A teacher at Chandrasing Rongpi Memorial School, Mr Swapan Nath, guided and motivated the participants as well.
The workshop was supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Disney Conservation Fund.