Mushroom prices all set to rise in Himachal due to bad crop

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Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), May 21 (ANI): Shortfall in mushroom production in Kullu valley due to unfavourable weather conditions leads to an increase in the prices of the crop up to 15,000 rupees per kilogram, bringing cheer to the mushroom growers.

Morel mushrooms, the honeycomb capped mushrooms, known as 'Guchhi' in the local language has become centre of attraction in the Banjar fair.

The fair is dedicated to Shringa Rishi, the chief deity of Banjar.

Several other deities as well participate in this four-day long fair.

Normally, farmers bring their yield to Banjar fair and get rupees 6000-8000 per kilogram.rishan Lal, a resident said that whole families are dependent on these mushrooms for their livelihood.

"The main attraction in this Banjar fair are the wild mushrooms. We sell mushrooms what's known as 'Dunglu' in the local language. This fair is very important for us, as the kids and elder's earn a living from it by selling these wild mushrooms," said Lal.

This year, the trend is different. Due to lack of rains and snowfall in winter, there is less production. Mushrooms, which used to cost rupees 11000 per kilogram till last year, are now costing as high as 15000 per kilogram.

Tek Singh, a trader said the prices of mushrooms are expected to touch rupees 15,000 per kilogram this year.

"This year, due to lack of rains, we had very bad crop of mushrooms. We are expecting the rates of rupees 15,000 per kilogram," said Singh.

Morel mushrooms and the honeycomb-capped mushrooms are commonly found under deciduous trees rather than conifers. They are not yet farmed successfully on large scale.

The commercial morels industry is largely based on harvest of wild mushrooms at elevations of 2000 meter in most of the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. By Prem Thakur (ANI)

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