Chimi Dema | Tsirang

After completing his studies at Royal Thimphu College last year, Deepak Kumar Chamlagai, 28, returned to his home in Kilkhorthang, Tsirang.

The commerce graduate said he was interested in becoming an entrepreneur and ventured into Oyster mushroom cultivation.

He used the ground floor of his two-storey house to grow mushrooms.

Without any experience in the business, he struggled last year. “About thirty percent of my produce failed,” he said. “I earned only Nu 8,000.”

The gewog agriculture extension office supported him with technical guidance to grow mushrooms.

But this year, he is happy he is making good money.

His first harvest of about 25 kilogrammes of the produce earned him Nu 7,500 recently.

The return, Deepak said, was able to recover his investment. A kilogram of mushroom could fetch Nu 300. “I’ve harvested only one-fourth of the produce now.”

With 140 spawn blocks in his farm, he is expecting to harvest about 700kg this time.

A crop of Oyster mushrooms can be harvested three times before the mycelium becomes exhausted. The first crop would yield mushrooms every 7-14 days.

With an increasing number of mushroom buyers in both his village and the local market, he has no dearth of market.

Deepak said that he pursued the idea of commercial farming to be independent in life. “In addition, if we can produce our own food, we could achieve food sufficiency one day.”

His father, Radha Krishna Chamlagai, said that his son has always shown interest in doing business.

“I am happy that he is living his dream now,” he said. “If youths alike can take up commercial farming, our country may not have to depend much on imports.”

Besides mushroom production, Deepak also grows organic turmeric and sugarcane. “If the situation improves, I will establish a milk processing unit.”