News - Sep 6, 2023

Wild mushroom harvest helps keep trees standing in Mozambique

An article published in Mongabay about our project which provides extra income for hundreds of women living next to Gilé National Park in the center of the country

An article by Ryan Truscott published on September 1, 2023 in Mongabay (available here), demonstrates the effects of our actions in Mozambique as part of the CHAMPFNL project in the Gilé National Park.
A few extracts below:

Collecting mushrooms in the forest near Namurrua

Mushroom harvesting around Gilé is typically done by women while out doing other tasks, such as gathering firewood. The mushroom project works with 900 or so members of 30 women’s groups drawn from communities living in the national park’s buffer zone.

Gilé was declared a national park in 2020, to protect its miombo woodlands

Gilé covers an area of 286,100 hectares, much of this covered in miombo woodlands that include tree species, like those from the Brachystegia genus, whose roots host mycorrhizal fungi. These underground networks help the trees absorb nutrients and moisture, and announce their presence in the form of diverse fruiting bodies above the ground: mushrooms.

Mushrooms are dried before they can be packed for sale in the capital, Maputo

Harvesting mushrooms, even for commercial purposes, will not solve the problem, says Jean-Baptiste Roelens. Mushrooms are seasonal and yields can vary greatly from year to year. But putting a commercial value on something that is normally only collected for subsistence purposes is part of a broader agenda to promote sustainable agriculture and the maintenance of forest cover.

Women brush soil off mushrooms where they're collected, to return spores to the soil

Nitidae is currently working to include Gilé’s edible mushrooms on an inventory of African tropical species curated by experts at Belgium’s Meise Botanic Garden. So far, 16 have been entered onto the database — the first such records from Mozambique.

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