Seventh Semester – Biotech Student’s field visit and mushroom foray at Matatirtha

July 4, 2016

On 4 July 2016, seventh semester biotechnology students and faculty members of AITM had a field trip to Matatirtha. The area lies in the south-west corner of Kathmandu valley in the lap of Chandragiri range at an elevation of 1620 m. The team was led by Dr. Mahesh Kumar Adhikari, the senior mushroom expert of Nepal. The area is easily accessed by everyone, very interesting and well known for mycological collections. It embraces mixed forest of Schima – Castanopsis – Pinus roxburghii and some other exotic Pinus species at the base and Quercus forest at the upper limit. A well known religious small pond is there after the name of god mother. The members enjoyed the cool weather and the healthy environment of the natural forest. They collected many samples of various species of wild mushrooms (Amanita, Polyporus, Boletus, Strobilomyces, Xerula, Lycoperdon, Russula and Lactarius etc.) at the foot of this forest. Besides this, the area is well known for mushroom cultivation. Lots of farmers have their own mushroom farming huts made of bamboo covered with plastic sheets. Anyone can learn the method or technique of mushroom cultivation.  The team members had good opportunity to see commercial method of edible mushroom farming. The team members were briefed about mushroom cultivation by private farmers. The visit for the students was fruitful to expand their knowledge and to encourage biotechnological application towards mushroom industrialization.