An­nual Mush­room Fes­ti­val in Geney Geog

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The com­mu­nity of Geney Ge­wog un­der Thim­phu Dzongkhag or­ga­nized the first an­nual mush­room fes­ti­val at Chizhi Goenpa in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Depart­ment of For­est and Park Ser­vices (DoFPS) and the Tourism Coun­cil of Bhutan from 15th -16th Au­gust, 2015. The fes­ti­val show­cased the dif­fer­ent mush­rooms for sale, food stalls and cul­tural pro­grams by com­mu­nity and schools. The event was aimed to help pre­serve and pro­mote the cul­ture and tra­di­tion as well as to im­prove the liveli­hood of the com­mu­nity.

The fes­ti­val also con­sisted aware­ness pro- grams by the Na­tional Mush­room Cen­tre on mush­room, wild mush­rooms and mush­room poi­son­ing. Sim­i­larly, the Depart­ment of Live­stock on di­ary de­vel­op­ment and an­i­mal health along with the Na­tional Or­ganic Pro­gram and DoFPS ex­hib­ited aware­ness in their re­spec­tive fields.

The Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker, Jigme Zangpo, who was the Chief Guest stated ‘The main ob­jec­tive of the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forests is self suf­fi­ciency’. He en­cour­aged that the com­mu­nity main­tain self suf­fi­ciency in food, en­vi­ron­men­tal health, ecosys­tem and wa­ter sources.

Fur­ther, the speaker high­lighted that such fes­tive oc­ca­sion in­vites visi­tors, and said ‘by invit­ing visi­tors and tourists, we can pro­mote in­come of the com­mu­nity and help im­prove our liveli­hood. In or­der to welcome the visi­tors, it was pointed out that the com­mu­nity trained them­selves in cook­ing, house­keep­ing and in guid­ing. He said this will not only help solve the un­em­ploy­ment is­sue for the younger gen­er­a­tions but also cre­ate a plat­for for im­prov­ing the liveli­hood of the fam­ily.

The mush­room in Geney plays a huge im­por­tance in the liveli­hood and food se­cu­rity. Of which Mat­su­take mush­room is the ma­jor source of cash in­come to the farm­ers but its farm­ing is highly sub­sis­tence. The in­di­vid­ual farmer’s in­come varies from Nu. 10,000 to Nu. 85,000.The ori­gin of this mush­room trade is traced back to Aum Kuchum of Tshochekha in Geney in 1988.

The in­come earned by the com­mu­nity is usu­ally spent for their ba­sic needs in­clud­ing their chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion, house­hold items and farm­ing tools.

The event also in­cluded a Min­istry of Health rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Mr. Gyembo Dorji. He ba­si­cally high­lighted on drink­ing habits of peo­ple and its im­pli­ca­tions. He shared that ‘The money which is to be in­vested on nu­tri­tious food is wasted on al­co­hol’ and thereby he en­cour­aged that peo­ple stop drink­ing if pos­si­ble, if not to re­duce its con­sump­tion. Ad­di­tion­ally, he cre­ated aware­ness on the smok­ing habits and the spread of HIV aids. Free en­doscopy was also pro­vided for the com­mu­nity.

The event was or­ga­nized as per the in­struc­tion from the Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter, Ly­onpo Yeshey Dorji to celebrate the 60th Birth An­niver­sary of His Majesty The 4th King.

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