High Value Cropping â€“ A Small Scale Agro-Business Case from Mushroom Cultivation
Keywords:High Value Crop (HVC), Mushrooms, Business, Cold Chain, Food Processing
The strategic positioning of mushroom cultivation as a high value crop (HVC) is a genuine proposition for the economic development of any state or country. It has the ability to provide health and wealth to the bottom of pyramid in a society. It has the ability to encounter the abuse of urbanization. Unlike other industry, it has no threat to environment or climate change rather it suffers due to such factors. It has proved the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability by virtue of its low-investment plans, use of low-end technologies, small-farmers and high utility of space and women entrepreneurship. A small-scale agro-business case ventured by a woman entrepreneur is presented in this paper.
Objectives â€“ The paper aims primarily at encouraging small farmers and small households, including women, in urban localities to cultivate mushroom. The secondary objective is to create awareness of mushroom farming as a HVC activity in the society.
Methodology â€“ A general review based descriptive methodology is followed in the paper for the readers and participants of the conference. Further, the objectives are established more effectively through an experiential case study approach.
Key Findings â€“ The study reveals that mushroom cultivation is very attractive and easy for all. Even it has the ease of marketing. However, it has some inherent challenges of maintaining proper temperature and humidity; and risk of managing the health of the crop and hygiene of the grower to bacterial and fungal infection.
Conclusion - The little preparedness and preventive measures can overcome the risks and challenges to tap the benefits. Though the discussion was limited to small-scale business, it has the scope of extending it to a large-scale business with proper provision and maintenance of a cold chain. Food processing can take the application to another level by dehydrating the mushrooms and prove it genuinely as an HCV even through exports to different parts of the sub-continent, continent and even the globe.