Five-star hotels to serve prison mushrooms

Patna: The next time you visit a five-star hotel in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata or Bangalore and order a dish of mushrooms, chances are you’re tasting something grown in a Bihar prison.

Officials said yesterday that mushrooms grown in state prisons will soon be sold to major hotels across the country.

Nearly 200 prisoners at Khudiram Bose Memorial Central Jail in Muzaffarpur district, Bihar, have engaged in mushroom cultivation over the past few months.

Scientists from Rajendra University of Agriculture, Pusa, Samastipur district were mobilized to train the prisoners in mushroom cultivation.

“Mushrooms grown by prisoners will soon be sent to hotels in major cities like Delhi and Mumbai,” prison official Iftekhar Ahmad said as the crop was now ready to be harvested.

Ahmad said experts have visited the prison to examine the quality of the mushrooms grown there.

Prison officials said the scientists were involved in imparting necessary skills to prison inmates.

Prisoners quickly learned the skills needed to save seeds and spawn, and began growing mushrooms in low-cost, thatched-roof houses and huts.

Prison officials, however, are keen to point out why the exercise was undertaken, in the first place.

“The main motive is to help prisoners earn a bit more by growing mushrooms, which takes precedence over marketing the produce to big hotels out of state,” a prison official explained. IANS

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