With the training programme of the delegation from Sudan for the mushroom production drawing to a close, the delegation is toying with the idea of attracting Indian investors in the food processing sector. Three master trainers were here in the city from Khartoum for a 21-day training programme at the College of Agriculture’s mushroom production unit.
The project, ‘Mushroom technology and farming for livelihood security for small and marginal farmers of the Khartoum state’ is funded under the DelPHI programme of the British Council. For the entire project including the exchange between India and Sudan and the setting up of a unit in Sudan, a total of 60,000 pound sterling has been sanctioned by the British Council.
Husameldin Hussein Mahmoud, co-ordinator of the project from the University of Alzaeim Alazhari, Khartoum, Sudan, said, “After going back to Sudan, we will train about 300 farmers and 150 trainers who will later help us expand the programme. As the climate of India and Sudan are similar, we can replicate this training model in other crops also. Very soon we might be coming back for similar training in animal husbandry and horiculture.”
So far mushroom consumption is a very upper class phenomenon in Sudan as a kilogram of mushroom there costs about $ 17.5 or Rs 875 as against Rs 100 to 150 a kilo in India. So considering the fact that India is one of the leading producers of mushroom in the world, technology transfer from here was considered the most appropriate, added Hussein, a former student of the College of Agriculture.
With the presence of a large Indian community in Sudan, the project may soon be followed by investments from India in the food processing industry in Sudan. The delegation also held a discussion with the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries & Agriculture.
“ The training of the master trainers will be will have follow up visits by the Indian team of trainers to the University of Al Zaeim Al Azhari, Khartoum, Sudan, sometime in March next year. Seeing the transformation of the lives of the Indian and Chinese farmers, they will now try to replicate the model once they get back to Sudan,” said TK Narute, head, plant pathology department and co-ordinator of the project at the College of Agriculture.