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

Shrestha, Uttam Babu and Dhital, Krishna Ram and Gautam, Ambika Prasad (2017) Economic dependence of mountain communities on Chinese caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis (yarsagumba): a case from western Nepal. Oryx. ISSN 0030-6053

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.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online 26/107/17. Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2017 02:15
Last Modified: 09 May 2018 02:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: economic impact; Himalaya; mountain livelihood; Nepal; non-timber forest products; Ophiocordyceps sinensis; yarsagumba
Fields of Research : 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140205 Environment and Resource Economics
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1017/S0030605317000461
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32867

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