14 January 2021.
A geographical indication (GI) tag has been sought for one of the costliest mushrooms in the world that grows in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district. The GI tag application for Gucchi mushroom was filed at the Geographical Indication Registry recently by Jammu-based NGO Border World Foundation and facilitated by the Director of Agriculture, J&K.
- The annual production of the wild mushroom in J&K is about 45 tonnes. Although primarily obtained from the forests and pastures of Doda district, it is also found in the high altitude areas of Kupwara, Pahalgam, Shopian, Kishtwar and Poonch. A few attempts have been made to cultivate it in farms.
- Locally called Gucchi, or Morel, the mushroom, priced at over ₹20,000 a kg, is a forest produce collected by local farmers and tribals.
- This spongy, edible fungus is said to have medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties is found in the temperate forests of the Doda district.
- The mushrooms are cherished for their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. They are also considered a rich source of protein, carbohydrates and Vitamin B.
- They are used in gourmet dishes.
Advantage of GI Tag:
- GI tag will create branding and commercial interest for this rare heirloom crop, thereby helping the tribal populace dependent on it for their livelihoods.
- Last June, saffron from the State had been granted a GI tag.