DEVELOPMENT OF MUSHROOM AND BERRY INDUSTRY REQUIRES EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT
This year, the forum brought together representatives of almost all extensive logging forest areas of the Komi Republic, Syktyvkar, and Arkhangelsk. The event was attended by scientists, experts of the national, municipal and local authorities, business people, representatives of public organizations and local communities.
The participants of Forest Dialogue noted that the use of hunting, food, tourism and recreational resources of the forest in the Komi Republic has not become a significant economic component and a source of replenishment of the national and municipal budgets, primarily due to the lack of efficient management of these resources. However, the analysis shows that non-timber, primarily food resources of the forest, are a significant source of income for the local rural communities. In addition, in remote settlements, where the share of the unemployed people reaches 50% or more, such resources often become a major source of livelihood.
Deputy Director of The Silver Taiga Foundation for Sustainable Development, Valentina Semyashkina, said that today for wild plant collection a similar scheme is used: pickers of mushrooms-berries either sell wild plants on their own in the market and at 'curb market', or sell them to local buyers. The latter, in their turn, sell them to the suppliers. Further, the raw material goes to the major suppliers for processing and only then to the consumer. At the same time there is only primary processing (boiling, drying, freezing) of the harvested wild plants in the Republic.
One of the options for changing the situation, according to the participants of the dialogue, may be the creation of a regional enterprise for wild plant processing.
Among the reasons for insufficient use of wild plants, the forum participants also highlighted the lack of economic assessment of the potential of wild plants, monitoring of the state of biocenoses, crop conservation activities, control over the use, inconsistency of interests and actions of science, business and government.
During the forum, the participants also discussed the experience and problems associated with the use of hunting and recreational forest resources, drafted proposals and recommendations for the development of these areas of forest management. The final document of the Forest Dialogue will be submitted to all the stakeholders, including relevant authorities.