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De Romana, M, The contribution of wild fungi to diet, income and health: A World Review. Progress in Mycology, 327-348. 2010.

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Article

Miombo Woodland Mushrooms of Commercial Food Value: A Survey of Central Districts of Zimbabwe

1Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Lupane State University, Box 170, Lupane, Zimbabwe


Journal of Food Security. 2017, Vol. 5 No. 2, 51-57
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-5-2-5
Copyright © 2017 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Alec Mlambo, Mcebisi Maphosa. Miombo Woodland Mushrooms of Commercial Food Value: A Survey of Central Districts of Zimbabwe. Journal of Food Security. 2017; 5(2):51-57. doi: 10.12691/jfs-5-2-5.

Correspondence to: Alec  Mlambo, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Lupane State University, Box 170, Lupane, Zimbabwe. Email: akmlambo@gmail.com

Abstract

Wild Miombo woodlands mushrooms are a largely ignored nutrition-boosting food and source of income among rural communities of Southern Africa. A survey was conducted in the Gweru, Kwekwe, Shurugwi and Mvuma districts of Zimbabwe to establish the importance of this natural resource in household poverty reduction.Gathered quantities and sales realized were recorded through structured personal interviews targeting two thirds of gatherers with equal numbers of male and female respondents and one key informant in each site. Results showed that of 14 gathered mushroom species (orders Cantharellales, Amanitales and Termitomycetes) across all sites, five species were of varying commercial value. Amanita loosii was the most traded and the only one with available data on sales. Ranked according to their gathered volumes by percent respondents per gathering occasion were A. loosii (97.48%), Termitomyces le-testui (72.94%) (non-mycorrhizal), Cantharellus heinemannianus (62.96%), Lactarius kabansus (46.72%) and C. miomboensis (37.04%). Average selling prices for A. loosii ranged from US$0.10 to US$1.00 per litre (about 600 grammes) across all sites. Average sales per site for a gathering occasion ranged between 20 and 400 litres per vendor across the sites, although up to 800 litres was recorded at Blinkwater for three gatherers. Principal Components Analysis biplots showed Blinkwater and Sebakwe sites had strong associations with high sales volumes and high sales value of A. loosii. It was concluded that, A. loosii, in particular, contributed to an important food and income source in the studied sites, with some communities having a large potential to raise these incomes beyond their current levels provided gathering and marketing methods were improved.

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