Mushroom Cultivation as a Small-Scale Family Enterprise for the Alternative Income Generation in Rural Bangladesh
The study presents the overall scenario of mushroom enterprises and its potentiality as a small -scale family business in generating supplementary income. Data were collected from 20 of the 100 total mushroom enterprises located at the Dogamora of Savar upazila in Dhaka using a semi-structured questionnaire. The study reveals that mushroom farming was the secondary or tertiary source of income for the entrepreneurs, most of which were young (less than 30 years old) comprising 70% man and 30% woman. The amount of investment on this farming was low ranging from BDT 5000 to ≥100,000 (US$65 to ≥US$1285), consequently the production rate was also low, maximum 10 kg per day for the higher investment while 1-2 kg for the lowest. The corresponding monthly profit against the investment ranged from BDT 2400 to 20,000 (30-256 US$). Financial analysis of mushroom farming in a bamboo made shade (15 6) showed an average monthly profit of BDT 12,339 and a benefit-cost ratio of 2.24. Despite of the potentiality of this sector, Bangladesh is in back foot due to lack of popularity, labeling, attractive packaging and spawn packets for seeding. Absence of organized marketing and market structure was found to force the entrepreneurs to sell the product to the middlemen. Considering the country’s limited land and unemployed or underemployed population, strengthening the mushroom farming sector could be one of the viable options. Flourishing the sector would boost the rural economy and diversifying business and employment opportunities in the rural areas, and providing income opportunities for disadvantaged group and small family farms.
Profitability, Farm Size, Investment, Training, Spawn Packet
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