Model-based strategic planning for strengthening mushroom entrepreneurship: insights from a sub-Himalayan Region of West Bengal, India
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Mushrooms are not only beneficial for health but also its production procedure makes it environment-friendly and at the same time can be an adaptation strategy for building climate resilient livelihoods. The present study explores the potentiality of mushroom cultivation in poverty-prone sub-Himalayan Cooch Behar district of West Bengal, India and also develops strategies to address the existing constraints using SWOT, TOWS, and QSPM models. SWOT analysis provides a comprehensive view of twelve internal and nine external factors present in the mushroom cultivation and marketing system. The results of Internal Factor Evaluation Matrix (2.88) and External Factor Evaluation Matrix (2.63) show, strengths and opportunities overweight weaknesses and threats; therefore, the district is well suited for mushroom cultivation. As it is a new venture, producers face difficulties mainly in terms of marketing and pest management. To enhance the current competitiveness, ten strategies are suggested. Moreover, the QSPM analysis reveals that development of strong marketing linkages, ensuring local market demand, implementation of integrated pest and disease management, and construction of scientific mushroom houses are the top four prioritized strategies. With careful management, mushroom production can become a vibrant way towards sustainable livelihood in the near future.
KeywordsMushroom cultivation and marketing SWOT TOWS QSPM
The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to Dr. Ayon Roy (Asst. Prof. Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya), Dr. Khurshid Alam (District Horticulture Officer, Cooch Behar), Dr. Bhaskar Roy, and Dr. Kuhu Roy (Agriculture Officer, Cooch Behar District) for their cooperation and constructive comments in developing the present manuscript. We are also grateful to the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Barney Warf and the anonymous reviewer for their critical comments and constructive suggestions. In addition, we acknowledge the University Grants Commission (Grant No. 3262/NET-JAN 2017), New Delhi, India, for financial support in the form of Junior Research Fellowship Award to carry out the research work.
Compliance with ethical standard
Conflicts of interest
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest concerning the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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