Jammu & Kashmir: GI tag for Gucchi Mushroom
The Jammu and Kashmir Government recently sought GI tag for Gucchi mushroom. The Gucchi mushrooms are highly expensive and are full of health benefits. 500 grams of Gucchi mushrooms cost Rs 18,000.
Recently, GI Tag was provided to Saffron of Jammu and Kashmir.
About Gucchi mushrooms
Gucchi mushroom is a species of fungus belonging to the family Morchellaceae. They are pale yellow in colour with large ridges and pits on their cap. They are raised on a large white stem. The Gucchi mushrooms are locally called “Thuntoo”.
The Gucchi mushrooms prefer soil with limestone base. They also grow in acid soils. The Gucchi mushrooms are usually found in early spring.
They are referred to “May Mushrooms” in North America.
The time of fruiting of the mushrooms varies locally from February to July. In Canada, they appear only after June.
The Gucchi mushrooms cannot be cultivated commercially. They grow in the conifer forests of Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. It takes months for the villagers to collect these mushrooms, dry them and bring them to the market. The Gucchi mushrooms grow in clusters on logs of decaying wood, humus soil and leaves. They may not grow in the same spot the next season. This makes the process of collection more tedious. Due to these reasons, the Gucchi mushrooms are highly expensive.
The Guchhi mushrooms cannot be cultivated commercially for their nature of germination. They germinate and grow in low temperature soil. They usually appear after fires. The fruiting of Gucchi mushrooms require alkaline conditions produced by wood ash mixed with water. These criteria make commercial cultivation of Gucchi highly challenging.
The Gucchi mushrooms are rich in vitamins, potassium and copper. They are also rich in Vitamin-D. further they are rich in antioxidants that prevent health issues such as heart diseases and diabetes.