Friday, 16 May 2008

Matsutake export declines

The export of Matsutake mushroom, locally known as Sangay Shamu, has fallen drastically.

In the 1990s, Bhutan exported about 10 tons of Matsutake mushroom every year. In 2007, figure fell to three tons.

Export of mushroom especially Matsutake began in the early nineties.

According to records maintained by the National Mushroom Centre in Simtokha in Thimphu the export figure declined steadily from 10 tons in the beginning to just about three tones today.

The Programme Director Dawa Penjore said the decline is not just with Matsutake mushroom but has been observed with other types of mushroom as well.

He said the declining mushroom production over the last few years has led to soaring prices for mushroom in the market. The price for a kilogram of Matsutake mushroom in the local market ranges between Nu. 500 to Nu. 1,000. In the international market it can fetch between US$ 50 to US$ 70.

To enhance mushroom production, about 30 Geog Agriculture Extension Agents from various Dzongkhags are being trained on Mushroom cultivation, management of mushroom farms and sustainable harvesting of wild mushroom at the National Mushroom Centre.

Dawa Penjore said the training is being conducted to help increase the income of the farmers thereby improving their living standard. Participants described the training as useful.

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