During the rainy season between December and April, wild edible mushrooms are plentiful in Miombo woodlands. Their consumption is widespread in the Katavi and Rukwa regions. There is a growing local demand for fresh and dried mushrooms. The projects for the co-management of the forests in the Rungwa River and Katavi-Ugalla corridors develop a wild mushroom component in order to provide to local communities more opportunities to develop income-generating activities.
A first study on wild mushrooms was carried out in March 2020 in the Rungwa River corridor by Dr. Urs Bloesch of Adansonia-Consulting mandated by ADAP. About 60 mushroom species were identified, including 36 edible species.
A second study conducted in early 2021 in the Katavi-Ugalla corridor by Dr. Urs Bloesch increased the total number of species identified in both corridors to 100, including about 50 edible mushroom species.
These results have motivated ADAP to support the added-value chain of wild edible mushrooms, in particular through the implementation of appropriate harvesting, drying, preservation, packaging and transport techniques. Thus, part of the mushrooms harvested this year will be dried using several solar dryers acquired for each project.
Practical training was provided to 445 members of mushroom groups from villages in both corridors, including 334 women and 111 men. Mushroom picking is traditionally a female activity and this is an opportunity for ADAP to support women since beekeeping remains a male activity.
Many thanks to Urs Bloesch, consultant and Matana Levi and Abdala Liingilie, natural resources staff of both projects!