Kanwal Singh Chauhan, an entrepreneur has given a new direction to the farmers society. An fifty-two-year old from Aterna district, Haryana has given cent percent sustainable mushroom farm and has transformed a unique ways to focus on bringing sustainable grow-at-home products into households. His vision is to serve as a standard bearer of innovation and responsibility in our community in order to inspire others to work towards a more sustainable future. Stepping further, he not only cultivates mushroom but also procures from other farmers and supply them after packaging. This progressive farmer produces around 120 tonnes mushroom which inspires other farmers and now this vegetable is cultivated in 1,000 hectare area.
What excites you about what you do? What interests you in growing mushrooms.
I wanted to be an entrepreneur and earn a handsome amount for my family. We village people never understand what salaried job are. Transforming our resources to wealth through cultivation is what we have seen and learned.
Mushroom cultivation was blooming when I thought of starting it of my own. The markets easily accepted Mushroom and resulted a kick start. This eventually helped in creating jobs and employment in my village, where people were engage in Mushroom cultivation, packaging and even marketing. This in true literally sense motivated me every morning to get up and strive to make a deeper and bigger impact each day!
What were the biggest challenges you have faced while producing Mushrooms?
It was indeed not a been a fun challenge while I started this project.It was granting loan for my business. My aim was high I really wanted to accomplish it but didn’t knew how to go about it. I didn’t lose hope and kept trying till the last. There are so many small challenges which I came across from legal and tax issues, to building a sales team, to figuring out operational efficiencies, it’s been a fun challenge though!
Apart from Mushroom farming what are the other activities you are involved it ?
Mushroom farming has always been very close to my heart. My goal is to constantly come up with innovative products that can inspire others and do so with a sense of responsibility for our community! This has given me recognisation .
Apart from this ,I have fruits and vegetables processing unit, application of azola (Blue Green Algae) in paddy field and for green fodder, organic farming of wheat, paddy, baby corn, sweet corn, tomato and other vegetables using bio-gas (use of paddy straw and Cow dung Cakes as fuel in boiler) and apiculture.
What are the social impact milestones that you are looking to hit in the next 5 years? How has your progress been towards those goals?
Through mushroom farming I have interacted with endless number of people .I definitively wish for a bigger vision in next five years. We are able to help families across the village grow their own fresh, healthy mushroom and other vegetable instead of leasing land. Hopefully in next 5 years we will be able to over grow our products nation-wide.
How much you are able to produce ?
We grow mushroom from November to March. In this particular season we are able to produce nearly 120 tonne of mushroom.
We really want to take this whole notion of ‘sustainability’ and ‘green’ and make it as tangible and easy/fun for families to actually start implementing in their daily live and produce and earn more for their livelihood.