The Project has been sanctioned by ICAR vide letter No. F-19 (+) H & MC; dated 23rd October, 1982.The project has been continued up to 2020.
Taking into consideration the abundant agro/ industrial wastes available with the farmers, the research work on different aspects of mushroom cultivation were started at College of Agriculture, Pune as early as in 1972. As a result, spawn production techniques were standardized and quality spawn supply to mushroom growers was started in 1973.
Recognizing the pioneer research work on mushroom in this university, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi has sanctioned the All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Mushroom at College of Agriculture, Pune in the year 1983.
Simultaneously, an ad-hoc research scheme on “Popularizing mushroom cultivation through research and supply of spawn,” was also sanctioned during the year 1985 by Science and Technology Cell of Government of Maharashtra. Government of India in VII five year plan period provided sufficient funds for the construction of independent project building and also for creating infrastructure facilities required for mushroom research.
Moreover, Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri, had also provided the funds for conducting the trainings on cultivation of oyster mushroom and supply of quality spawn to the mushroom growers in Maharashtra, during the year 2009-10.
The mushroom flora of Maharashtra comprises nearly 133 genera. Out of these 133 genera, 41 are reported to be edible while others are either toxic or the information regarding their edibility is not yet known.
Commercial production of button mushroom in Maharashtra was started in 1972. Initially it was done in potato cold storage with some local alterations in the structural designs. At present, numbers of farms of button mushroom are running smoothly in Thane, Pune, Sangli, Nashik, Latur, Wardha, Nagpur and Akola districts of Maharashtra. The total mushroom production in Maharashtra was 300 MT during 1992-93 and it was increased to 2500 MT in 1995-96. During 2017-18 the button mushroom production was reached up to 17970 MT.
The oyster, locally known as Dhingri mushroom is popular amongst common people as compared to button mushroom, because of the less investment required for its cultivation. Secondly, it can be grown on any substrate under natural conditions for 10 to 11 months in a year. More than 275 growers are engaged in the spawn production, oyster mushroom cultivation, marketing, and processing till the date with total production of 353 MT fresh oyster mushroom per year.
This research centre has made tremendous efforts to popularize the mushroom farming in the state. As a result, till date, Maharashtra ranks the first in the Country regarding mushroom production.