Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mushrooms, the lesser known forest treasure.

Where I come from- the western parts of Kenya, mushrooms are a resource whose importance has been under-estimated. Mushroom harvesting has been regarded as a children playing activity and I vividly remember those days on Saturdays or during the April/August holidays (Mushroom season) when this used to be my favorite game. (Partly because it earned me a chance to walk with Sharon – the girl in the neighborhood) I could spend the whole day harvesting mushroom as long as I was with her even when we were not talking to each other.
Of all the lot we harvested, only a portion could end up into our kitchen and the rest went bad and was thrown as nobody took it seriously.
With my biology in school, I have known mushroom species such as boletus,cantharellus and morchella grow naturally in symbiosis with the local woodland. And with my interactions, I have known these mushrooms are highly demanded in developed countries and in big hotels within the country. Their careful and well-managed exploitation could not only lead to the forest preservation but also the local economy. As the youth full of energy for running up and down, we can tap into this invaluable resource - obwoba and emmancipate ourselves from the shackles of poverty and unemployment.

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