Mat­su­take, a big boost to Geney farm­ers

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

The sec­ond Mat­su­take Fes­ti­val was cel­e­brated to help pre­serve and pro­mote the cul­ture and tra­di­tion as well as to im­prove the liveli­hood of the com­mu­nity.

The an­nual fes­ti­val was cel­e­brated at Geney Zampa in Geney Gewog un­der Thim­phu Dzongkhag from 15-16 Au­gust.

Mat­su­take mush­room has been a ma­jor source of in­come for the farm­ers of Geney Gewog. It has played an im­por­tant role in their so­cio-eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

The ob­jec­tive of the fes­ti­val is to cre­ate aware­ness on the sus­tain­able har­vest­ing of the lo­cal mush­room and en­joy the or­ganic nat­u­ral fla­vors of the na­ture. It is also aimed at cre­at­ing aware­ness on mush­room nutrition and poi­son­ing.

Speak­ing at the fes­ti­val, Prime Min­is­ter Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay said that last year alone, mat­su­take sale earned around Nu.87 mil­lion while it was just Nu.10 mil­lion in year 2013.

Ly­onch­hen high­lighted the im­por­tance of mat­su­take mush­room both so­cially and eco­nom­i­cally and urged the peo­ple to pre­serve and work to­wards qual­ity pro­duc­tion.

Mean­while, he also re­minded the lo­cals to take care of the en­vi­ron­ment and the im­por­tance of sus­tain­able har­vest­ing of the mush­rooms.

The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forests (MoAF) says that the fes­ti­val has also helped travel com­pa­nies to pro­mote off-sea­son tourism, one that is par­tic­u­larly re­lated to the mush­room, tra­di­tion and cul­ture.

“This is hoped to con­trib­ute in re­duc­ing ru­ral to ur­ban mi­gra­tion and con­ser­va­tion of cul­ture through em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and in­come for vil­lagers.”

Ac­cord­ing to the or­ga­nizer, the sea­son brings the op­por­tu­nity to sam­ple some truly de­li­cious mat­su­take meals, to en­gage in songs and dances to­gether with the lo­cals and to de­velop a deeper un­der­stand­ing of the vil­lage life.

The ma­jor ex­port des­ti­na­tion of mat­su­take mush- room is Japan fol­lowed by South Korea, In­dia, Sin­ga­pore, Hongkong and Thai­land.

Dur­ing the fes­ti­val, the com­mu­nity and stu­dents show­cased the na­tive mush­rooms for sale, food stalls, other lo­cal prod­ucts, mush­room hunt­ing, and cul­tural pro­grams by school.

The fes­ti­val was held to cel­e­brate the birth of His Royal High­ness Gyalsey Jigme Nam­gyal Wangchuck and the 30 years of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween Japan and Bhutan.

In the mean­while, Thrum­sen­gla National Park has con­veyed to Tourism Coun­cil of Bhutan (TCB) that the Mat­su­take Fes­ti­val in Ura, Bumthang, sched­uled on 23 and 24 Au­gust will not be held since the fes­ti­val is co­in­cid­ing with the lo­cal government elec­tions.

The open­ing event of the fes­ti­val was graced by Ly­onch­hen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay, JICA Pres­i­dent, Shinichi Ki­taoka, and Agri­cul­ture and Forests Min­is­ter Yeshey Dorji.

The Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment, Thim­phu Dzongdag, of­fi­cials from MoAF, tourists and farm­ers also at­tended the fes­ti­val.

The fes­ti­val was or­ga­nized by the De­part­ment of Forests and Park Ser­vices in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the National Mush­room Centre, MoAF with fi­nan­cial sup­port from TCB.

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