An Effective Training in Oyster Mushroom Cultivation in the Tropics: A Module

Sanyogita Deshmukh, Asha Mane & Vilas Deshmukh
Sanyogita Deshmukh
PGTD Home science, Amravati University, Amravati, India
Asha Mane
PGTD Home science, Amravati University, Amravati, India
Vilas Deshmukh
Vidyabharti Mahavidyalaya, Amravati, India 444602

Abstract

Production of protein rich nutritious food by unconventional methods is needed to supply the demands for protein by the growing population as well as to overcome malnutrition in developing countries such as India. Therefore a training module of oyster muchroom cultivation (OMC) was formulated for unemployed youth and homemakers following the ‘System Approach to Training’. The impact of training was quantified by reaction, learning and performance evaluation of trainees. Further, the respective indexes were calculated and the data were analysed statistically. The findings were promising that the training module was effective in popularising the technology amongst the community. Training Participation Index (TPI) (70), Training Utility Index (TUI) (93) and Training Effectiveness Index (TEI) (65) were excellent. Significant changes were observed in trainees about knowledge (69%), favourable attitudes (66%) and 90 per-cent of the trainees acquired skills at a satisfactory level. This confirms the effectiveness of the training module in oyster mushroom cultivation.

1. Introduction

Acute protein malnutrition, a glaring reality in the developing countries, has forced the planners and nutritionists to think about alternate sources of protein, as the traditional source of protein in Indian diet has not kept pace with population growth. Mushrooms, one of the highest protein producers per unit area and in time from agro-wastes, fit in well in the scheme of the things to fight malnutrition. In a country like India where vegetarians dominate, every attempt should be made to popularise a vegetable protein source like mushroom (Nita Bahl 1998). Protein deficiency in food is not only a future problem but is an existing reality. Hence in order to meet growing protein food demands of the country, there is a need to popularise unconventional protein food sources like single cell protein, algae and mushrooms. FAO has recommended mushrooms as a food item contributing to protein nutrition of the developing countries. Hence there is a demand for technology at grass root level to enable people to break away from the poverty trap and to acquire a sense of livelihood. Extension and training have generally been considered the outlet for an exchange of concepts within a community. Therefore training has been a widely accepted strategy with high returns on investment.

India is primarily an agriculture-based country. The diversity in soil and climatic conditions allows a production of variety of crops in different parts of the country. This provides vast potential for the cultivation of mushrooms due to ample availability of raw materials and conducive climatic conditions. Cultivation of the oyster mushroom has various advantages as it converts complex organic ligno-cellulosic compounds into nutritious food (Madan 1997), aids recycling of agro-waste, contributes to pollution control, does not compete with agricultural land and provides avenues to self employment. Hence there is an urgent need to popularise the technology amongst the community.

2. Physical environment of the study area

The climate of the region is subtropical and monsoonic with a hot and dry summer followed by a rainy and mild winter. The average daily temperature ranges from a minimum 14.7°C in December-January to a maximum 46.0°C in the month of May. The average rainfall is 876.92 mm and atmospheric humidity ranges from 45-60 per cent. The main source of economic income in this area is agriculture. The principal cultivated crops are cotton, sorghum, wheat, soybean, groundnut, gram, sunflower, mustard and vegetables.

3. Methodology

For the present study a training module was developed according to the ‘System Approach to Training’.

Target Group: Youth and women from the city and nearby rural area.
Training Time: October to March
Training Period: 15 days
Number of Trainees: 250

The systematic and comprehensive model of training in oyster mushroom cultivation is described in Figure 1. During training, monitoring was the phase for constant vigilance in ongoing training strategies. The training monitoring indicators such as TPI, TUI and TEI were used to assess the training activities. Before After Training Evaluation (BATE) design was used for quantifying the effect of training. Various scales and tests were used to measure the total training effect. A five point rating scale was developed for reaction evaluation. A knowledge rating scale was developed to predict learning through training, further, the knowledge index and SLI were computed. For measuring the performance of trainees, a performance-rating scale was used. An attitude scale was used to discover the change in attitudes of trainee. Various descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. On the basis of the statistical analysis, findings were discussed and conclusions were drawn.

4. Findings

4.1 Training Need Assessment (TNA)
Training needs of trainees are presented in the Figure 2. The organisational needs of the institutions were assessed on the basis of physical facilities such as; equipped training hall, audio-visual aids etc., funds for training and manpower available at the institution.

Training Cycle

Training Need Assessment Development of Training plan Design of Training Programme
Ø Ø Ø
Explore Decide on Prepare for
Ø Ø Ø
Organisational training need Duration of Training Training Objectives
Training Needs of the Target group Training Policy Curriculum of Training
Target of Productivity Training Methodology
Period of Training Course Material
Training Finance
Trainer
Training Responsibility

 

Training Programme Implementation Training Monitoring and Evaluation
Ø Ø
Readiness Evaluate
Ø Ø
Preparation Implementation Monitoring Evaluation
Ø Ø
Ø Ø Ø Ø
Pre training Contacts Reception of trainees & pre training evaluation Participation Reaction
Utility Learning
Effectiveness Performance
Training Schedule (Time Table) Feed back from Trainees Behaviour
Duty chart Training Environment
Check list
Contingency plan

Figure 1: The comprehensive system model of training in Oyster Mushroom Cultivation

4.2 Training Plan Development (TPD)
Oyster-mushrooms_4-2-Training Plan Development-1Figure 2 Training needs of trainees in OMC

This training plan was short and annually framed for educating a community in oyster mushrooms.

Congenial period for training programme: The training programmes were planned to run from the month of December to March during the year.

Training fees: The nominal registration fee motivates the trainees and keeps them attentive during the training period and produces an enhanced training effect.

Trainer: Four trainers and two demonstrators were selected and found sufficient to cover the curriculum.

Supporting training material: The step demonstration of progressive stages of oyster mushroom cultivation was illustrated by the demonstrator and proved helpful for a clear perception of the developmental stages and also cleared up misunderstandings about mushrooms within the community.

Training responsibility: The training responsibility was conveyed to the responsible persons with a duty chart. It helps in performing the task conveniently and on schedule. Checklists were prepared for testing the state of preparedness of the institution before and after training.

4.3 Design of Training Programme (DTP)

The design of training programme provides the structured framework and training plan.

Training objectives: The training objectives were framed on the basis of training needs of the trainees, and categorized according to ‘Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives’. The priorities were from the general to the specific.

Curriculum development: As the need-based approach was accepted for training, the curriculum was structured on the basis of weightage given by subject expert to the objectives. ‘The Concentric Approach to Curricula’ was referred for selecting the contents of the curriculum and categorized into ‘must know’, ‘should know’ and ‘could know’ categories.

Training methodology: The training methods were selected according to objectives of curriculum.

Lecture method: Introduction to concept of mushrooms, nutritive and medicinal values of oyster mushroom were discussed in the planned lectures.

Method demonstration: Two method demonstrations were illustrated during this training. The first was on the procedure of spawning of bags and the second was on mushroom cookery.

Action learning: One session of the training was for the active involvement of the trainees in the cultivation process. Each trainee prepared an oyster mushroom bed, maintained the climatic conditions and harvested the crop.

Training technology: Training aids enhance the learning of the trainees. Therefore charts and photographs of cultivated species of mushrooms, OHP-transparencies, chalk-board, the folder, a set of leaflets were used as the training technology and proved effective for better learning.

4.4 Training Programme Implementation: (TPI)

This phase of training was divided into two sub-phases as; preparation and implementation.

Preparation:

Pre-training contacts with participants: The circulation of a brochure was cost effective as compared to nominating authorities, broadcasting news and advertisements in newspapers.

Preparation of timetable: The timetable helped the trainer as well as trainees to keep them prepared for training.

Duty charts: The duty charts assisted the course director and the staff members to carry out their respective duties.

Meetings for finalization of arrangements: The first meeting brought about many ideas from the experts, colleagues, trainers and supporting staff. The final meeting before training ensured the planning and supporting arrangements and developed the confidence of coordinator and trainers.

Contingency plan: The contingency plan was made in advance against the failure of pre-planned arrangements at the commencement of training.

Implementation:

Arrangement for reception of trainees: The warm reception facilitates the training environment, and is also helpful for monitoring and evaluating training.

Feedback from trainees: The feedback from tainees and colleagues indicates the direction of training. It was an interim and informal evaluation of training plan and implementation.

Training environment: The training environment comprises the climatic factor within training hall and interpersonal relation during training. The informal, free environment facilitates exchange of ideas and experiences.

4.6 Training Monitoring and Evaluation (TME)

Training has specific domains i.e. domain of top management, domain of trainer and domain of training. Training monitoring was the indicator of the effectiveness of organizers, trainers and the training institution. The training performance indicators (Table 1) depict that the rate of participation in training was very high. The average was in the excellent category and indicates that the training was useful for trainees. The excellent category of the average TEI proved the effectivness of the training module.

Table 1. Training Performance Indexes of the Training in OMC

S. No. Training Programme TPI TUI TEI
1 OMT-1 70.00 70.00 60.00
2 OMT-2 80.00 80.00 75.00
3 OMT-3 72.50 87.50 62.50
4 OMT-4 75.00 96.00 67.50
5 OMT-5 70.00 94.11 65.00
6 OMT-6 72.50 95.20 70.00
7 OMT-7 65.00 88.50 62.50
8 OMT-8 62.50 90.20 57.50
9 OMT-9 67.50 91.30 65.00
Average 70.44 91.30 65.00

 

Impact of training: The impact of training on trainees was assessed by computing the change in Knowledge, Attitude, Skill scores (KAS) of trainees. Table 2 shows the percentage change in knowledge, attitudes, skill scores and in satisfaction of trainees.

Table 2. Impact of training on trainees

Category Score (%) Change in Knowledge Change in Attitude Skill Score Satisfaction
Up to 33 19.33 13.33 8.00 11.34
34-66 69.33 13.33 46.66 48.66
67-100 11.33 66.00 43.34 40.00
Mean 45.86 88.71 87.44 84.65
S.D. 16.17 11.81 15.90 3.27
C.V. 35.27 13.31 18.19 11.03

 

5.Conclusion

The results of the training were examined for the effectiveness of the training in OMC and the impact of training on trainees. It is concluded that the development training module was effective training in the cultivation of oyster mushrooms in the tropics.

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