Increase in Export of Pakistani Mushroom But Still Need For Improvement

Pakistan exported around 201,000 kilograms (kg) of mushroom
with a total export price of $12.930 million in 2016. Not only was the increase
in the value of mushroom exports phenomenal but mushroom exports also
contributed over 25 percent to the overall vegetables exports of over $101
million the same year.
In Pakistan, mushrooms are grown in farm houses, including
but not limited to state owned national logistic cell. Farm production
contributes around 1 percent to overall mushroom exports, while the rest of it
comes from natural production in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The global mushroom production according to Food and
Agriculture Organization’s statistics was estimated at 4.99 million tons in
2016 with major producers being China with 60 percent production, followed by
United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Poland,
Ireland, Indonesia and India. Talking to the Daily Times, Akhtar Usmani,
Chairman Mann-O-Salva Pakistan Private Limited who are the pioneers for the
cultivation of mushroom commercially in Pakistan, are not only meeting the
demand of the local market, but also earn foreign exchange by selling fresh and
dehydrated mushroom to Europe and America. The export market rate while in the
Canadian stores was $14 for a kilogram against our cost of $4.
There is a huge export market around the world, some private
sector companies export thousands of kilograms, grown in Swat at a lurative
price of over $1,000 for a kg.
With absolutely 100 percent export for the same we got our
product quality approval from a German firm, and got export permission from the
US. It occurred to us on holidays while having pizza for lunch with an extra
topping of mushroom. We established this company in 1985 on 16 acres of land
allotted by the Government of Sindh in Korangi Industrial Area. National
Development Finance Corporation not only agreed for a loan but it was the first
time the bank participated as equity partners in an agribusiness.
Mateen Siddiqui, Chairman of Fruits, Vegetables Processors
and Exporters Association said mushroom export helped boost overall vegetables
Mushrooms are playing a significant role in the national
economics by earning substantial foreign exchange from exports.

In Punjab and Sindh it is found after the monsoon rains,
while in the valleys of Balochistan it is found to grow in large numbers in
March and April. Local people refer to it as “khamiri”. They not only
do they eat it, but sell it in the small villages and vegetable markets. A part
of the crop is dried and sent to large towns. Edible mushroom once called ‘Food
of God’ is still treated as a garnish or delicacy the world over due to its
delicious taste and nourishment value. It is rich in proteins and has most of
the essential amino acids with about 90 percent digestive co-efficient. In
addition to being low in calories and an ideal food for diabetics, heart and
cancer patients. The umbrella-shaped vegetation grows under the trunk of a
tree, among sparse vegetation, and sprinkled in grasslands after the rains.
However, the umbrella-shaped fungus with a little stalk tickles the taste-buds
of millions around the world.

Source: Daily Times

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