Compost maker for mushroom cultivation
This is an electricity operated machine, which moves in a straight line cutting through compost heap, turning and mixing all material, adding moisture whenever required, and heaping it back in a line.
The innovator grows the white button mushroom variety whose season is September to March. Compost making and preparation of bed and shed (using bamboo) for cultivation are started in parallel. The material to be made into compost is mixed and spread in the field in rows about 4 feet wide and 4 feet high, it is continuously mixed and moisture added so that it does not dry. Each row needs to be turned/mixed 8-9 times with a gap of two days between each turning. The whole process takes about 28 days. The compost generally gets ready by the 7thturning/ mixing. The pH and moisture content is also monitored regularly. The compost prepared needs to be moist but not sticky, just optimum.
The compost making machine has two motors, 10hp for rotating the blades and 2hp which powers rear wheels. It can cover a heap of 200 ft. in length, 4 feet width and 4 feet height in 25 minutes. Only one person is required to operate it. Towards the end of the heap, the machine has to be manually turned. The innovator claims that using this machine the production of mushroom is about 5-10 % more than that through conventional manual process.
The machine has several advantages. It can properly turn and mix the compost ensuring that no lumps remain in it. As a result, the incidence of disease (yellow mold) is also less. This machine can add moisture and fungicide as well to control diseases. It can be operated on both hard (pakka like cemented floor) and soft (kachcha like farmer's field) surface easily. Using the machine, the time required for compost preparation also gets reduced considerably.
He has made only one machine, there have been some mushroom farmers who have visited him to see his machine. While the ladies of the family do not know much about machine, his brothers have supported him in developing the machine and filing the patent. He plans to further improve it by incorporating a steering so that it can be turned easily at the end of the compost heap.
Considering his contribution to the mushroom industry in the country and Haryana in particular, the Directorate of Mushroom Research, Solan gave him the ‘Progressive Mushroom Grower Award-2013’ during the National Mushroom Mela, Solan.