Developing small production and marketing enterprises: mushroom contract farming in Bangladesh

This article presents a case study of an activity implemented under the FAO component of the Local Partnerships for Urban Poverty Alleviation Project funded by UNDP in Bangladesh. In Mymensingh city the project is linking poor urban dwellers with a niche market for oyster mushroom. This small enterprise activity appears to be sustainable in that it develops agricultural production to cater for the specific demand of an existing small marketing enterprise. As long as the trader finds a market for his mushroom, he has an incentive to collaborate with the project beneficiaries who supply the produce. This model is thus an example of mutual benefit between extremely small landholders and a trader through the catalytic effect of a development project.