Economic dependence of mountain communities on Chinese caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis (yarsagumba: a case from western Nepal

Article


Shrestha, Uttam Babu, Dhital, Krishna Ram and Gautam, Ambika Prasad. 2019. "Economic dependence of mountain communities on Chinese caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis (yarsagumba: a case from western Nepal." Oryx: journal of fauna and flora international. 53 (2), pp. 256-264. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605317000461
Article Title

Economic dependence of mountain communities on Chinese caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis (yarsagumba: a case from western Nepal

ERA Journal ID3125
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsShrestha, Uttam Babu (Author), Dhital, Krishna Ram (Author) and Gautam, Ambika Prasad (Author)
Journal TitleOryx: journal of fauna and flora international
Journal Citation53 (2), pp. 256-264
Number of Pages9
Year2019
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0030-6053
1365-3008
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605317000461
Web Address (URL)https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/oryx/article/economic-dependence-of-mountain-communities-on-chinese-caterpillar-fungus-ophiocordyceps-sinensis-yarsagumba-a-case-from-western-nepal/C62C19DBD286FB58873EF3A188EE4FE1
Abstract

Products obtained from forests or other natural environments play a crucial role in sustaining the livelihoods of poor people in developing countries through income generation and the creation of employment opportunities. Although studies have been carried out to evaluate the dependence of local livelihoods on environmental products, quantify the linkage between poverty and biodiversity, and assess the impacts of resource depletion on household economics, most have been focused geographically on the tropics. Our study was conducted in the mountain village of Jumla, Nepal, to quantify the economic contribution of Chinese caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis (yarsagumba) to local households. Income from yarsagumba accounted for up to 65% of the total household cash income, on average, and its contribution was highest in the poorest households. It contributed to reducing income inequality by 38%, and the income was utilized to purchase food and clothes, celebrate festivals, pay for medical treatment and children's education, and for savings. There was a mean annual decline of 25 pieces in the per capita harvest of yarsagumba during 2010–2014. However, the decline had no adverse impact on household income, as the price increased.

Keywordseconomic impact; Himalaya; mountain livelihood; Nepal; non-timber forest products; Ophiocordyceps sinensis; yarsagumba
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020380105. Environment and resource economics
410406. Natural resource management
410404. Environmental management
410401. Conservation and biodiversity
Byline AffiliationsInstitute for Agriculture and the Environment
Kathmandu Forestry College, Nepal
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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