This report provides a business model for expanding the wild mushroom export industry inearthquake affected Pakistan. The existing export industry for the dried Morel mushroom has beenlong established and may form a base from which to diversify the sector into fresh YellowChanterelles, a completely unexploited variety at this time.
Diversify mushroom hunters into a new mushroom variety to increase their cash incomes.Strengthen and develop links in the wild mushroom supply chain to access international markets.
Wild Mushroom harvesting as a livelihood activity
Livelihood constraints in the region include:
Rural communities are already maximizing natural resource exploitation of communallands. Pressure on forests for grazing, cropland, timber and fuel wood are approachingunsustainable levels. Many of the most vulnerable live at the interface between agricultureand forest.
Land for agricultural production is at a premium in the region. Many families are notreaching their subsistence needs even with fully planted fields and have no surplus land for cash crops. Tenant sharecropping is a historically persistent and common practice. Seasonallabor migration is unavoidable for most men. Women have few acceptable work opportunities.
Advantages of wild mushroom harvesting:
Land ownership or rental not required
No inputs required for harvesting
Cash earned daily near home in season
Very high-value crop with a good margin for the collector
Gender neutral livelihood activity
Does not damage forest resources
Program ComponentsAnticipated ResultsTarget Community:LandlessPotential Beneficiaries:53% women and 47% menIntermediate Outcomes:1.Train and organize gatheringteams2.Provide packaging and transportsolutions3.Strengthen or create exportmarket linkagesLivelihood Outlook:Cash income from fresh mushroom salesAugust – September every year