Taking advantage of Kashmir’s extraordinary climatic conditions, apt for growing different mushroom varieties, women in the border area of North Kashmir in Kupwara are cultivating mushrooms and gaining profits under the Mushroom cultivation programs.
From their homes in the Kupwara district, these women cultivate mushrooms, including gucchi (Morchella), an exotic species of the mushroom family, to sell at the local market. It is profitable, and people purchase with utmost sincerity.
Mushrooms are creating a substantial profit for the valley’s women, who have not had much financial freedom but can now contribute to their families.
Women here say that strict gender roles hinder their economic opportunities and the region’s economic development. The female work participation rate is just 25.6 percent in India and 22.5 percent in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Women in the villages of Kupwara are happy with the cultivation. They have the comfort of being self-sufficient and self-made entrepreneurs.