Mat­su­take, a big boost to Ura farm­ers

Bhutan Times - - Home 05 - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing/Bumthang

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

The fes­ti­val was cel­e­brated at Ura vil­lage in Bumthang Dzongkhag on 23 and 24 August. The fungi are na­tive to forests of Ura val­ley in Cen­tral Bhutan. Uraps be­gin Mat­su­take col­lec­tion in July every year.

Mat­su­take mush­room has been a ma­jor source of in­come for the farm­ers of Ura vil­lage. It has played an im­por­tant role in their so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. The com­mu­ni­ties use in­come from the sale of Mat­su­take to meet chil­dren’s ex­penses and ba­sic es­sen­tials among oth­ers.

Jigme Lhun­drup from Ura said that the mush­room ben­e­fited both so­cially and eco­nom­i­cally. “We ex­pect to pre­serve and work to­wards qual­ity pro­duc­tion.” He also said that it is im­por­tant to take care of the for­est for sus­tain­able har­vest­ing of the mush­rooms.

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.

The fes­ti­val en­ables the vis­i­tors to iden­tify the fa­bled mush­rooms as they em­bark on mush­room pick­ing ex­cur­sions around the pris­tine forests and hills. And for the out­siders, it was per­haps the best way to ex­pe­ri­ence the amaz­ing cul­ture and the fes­ti­val.

The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forests (MoAF) Ly­onpo Yeshey Dorji said 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 mush­room is Ja­pan. The price of Mat­su­take in the mar­ket de­pends on qual­ity, avail­abil­ity and ori­gin.

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 lo­cal peo­ple also show­cased the Tshechu.

The mod­ern medicine found Mat­su­take mush­rooms to be good sources of pro­teins, vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. It con­tains vi­ta­mins A, B and C. potas­sium found in high amounts in Mat­su­take mush­rooms is re­spon­si­ble for the healthy heart and mus­cles and pro­vide the fluid bal­ance in the body.

Mat­su­take mush­rooms are also proven to be ef­fec­tive fight­ing dif­fer­ent can­cers. It also found to pre­vent the risk of can- cers by reg­u­lar con­sump­tion.

Mat­su­take is the com­mon name for highly sought af­ter my­c­or­rhizal mush­room that grows in Asia, Europe and North Amer­ica.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple from the coun­try and tourists at­tended the two­day fes­ti­val.

Dzongkhag of­fi­cials and se­nior govern­ment of­fi­cials, of­fi­cials from MoAF, tourists and farm­ers also at­tended the fes­ti­val among oth­ers.

The fes­ti­val was or­ga­nized by the Phrum­sen­gla Na­tional Park Ser­vices in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Na­tional Mush­room Cen­tre, MoAF with fi­nan­cial sup­port from Tourism Coun­cil of Bhutan.

Last year, the Mat­su­take Fes­ti­val in Ura, couldn not be held be­cause of lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.