The total area covered by forest in Pakistan is 4.8%. Forest resources directly contribute to 80% of livelihood of people living in extreme poverty. Important Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) are: morels, honey, fruits and nuts, vegetable, condiments and spices, mazri palm, silk cocoon, and many other. 17 species of mushrooms are reported during the study and about 34% of local people are dependent on NTFPs for income generation from these products. Local people rely on their indigenous knowledge for collection, processing, packing, drying, marketing and consumption of various NTFPs, especially mushrooms. Mushrooms, after collection and processing, are sold to the middleman who then sells into main market. More than 65% of the product is lost during the way to main market with finished product. About 532,280 kg were produced in 1997-98. There are problems like lack of awareness about collection and processing of various products and knowledge about marketing among local collectors. Extensive research is needed to study market trends and monopolies, wastage and unsustainability during different steps of processing, and govt. attitude toward NTFPs, etc. Studies to be conducted through bottom-up approach for proper planning, better levels of production, sustainable income through sustainable utilization, training and capacity building of related personnel, sustainable marketing and community for conservation.
Latif, Abdul; Shinwari, Zabta Khan; and Begum, Shaheen
"Potential and Market Status of Mushrooms as Non-Timber Forest Products in Pakistan,"
Ethnobotanical Leaflets: Vol. 2005
, Article 41.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/ebl/vol2005/iss1/41