Understanding Livelihood Diversification: A Case Study of Mushroom Farming in Bihar
Mushroom cultivation has been identified as an important livelihood strategy that fits in very well with sustainable farming. This has several advantages, for example, it uses agricultural waste products, it works like a quick cash crop with no use of land, a high production per surface area can be obtained, and after picking, the spent substrate is still a good soil conditioner. The study also delineates the production economics of mushroom cultivation among the poorest of the poor.
A study was also conducted in three villages of Nalanda district in the state of Bihar to identify the determinants and constraints to livelihood diversification. The study has shown that educational level, asset position, access to credit, and rural infrastructure are some important driving forces towards livelihood diversification in the region. The resource-poor are particularly vulnerable and unable to diversify because of the entry barriers imposed by their weak asset base.
KeywordsSustainable livelihood farming Livelihood diversification Mushroom cultivation
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