Seasonal Mushrooms Benefit Locals in Siem Reap Province
Locals from Banteay Srey and Svay Leu districts, Siem Reap Province, are benefitting from numerous mushroom breeds that grow in the rosewood forest patrolled by the Kontout Khnar Krav district administration. Growing from the beginning of July to the end of August, these mushrooms include peacock mushrooms, rattan mushrooms, and many more breeds of mushrooms.
Mr. Seng Loan, the Forestry Administrator of Kontout Khnar Kra district, emphasized that this area is under conservation, therefore people who come to cultivate these mushrooms must seek proper permission from the guards beforehand. He also added that this proper protection will lead to an increase in fungi yearly.
The precipitation in April supplies sufficient water for the early growth of wild mushrooms and other leafy vegetables. Later in July, people received yields from peacock mushrooms and rattan mushrooms.
Locals can collect up to 5-10 kg of mushrooms, depending on the rainfall. If they can collect only a small amount of mushrooms, they consume it with their families. If they cultivate a lot of mushrooms, then they can sell some for profit. People usually get 20,000 Riels (5 USD) per 1 kg of mushroom.
It is not poverty that forces them to cultivate mushrooms. In fact, the mushroom collection is a seasonal tradition. These mushroom breeds have supported many families for generations. The locals also understand that the protection of these forests allows for an abundance of resources.
By: Pon Lorngdy