Reyaz Rashid

‘Shajkan’ is back in north Kashmir markets

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Baramulla: Scores of women from North Kashmir’s mountainous areas nowadays can be seen selling the rare edible (Geopora arenicola and Sepultaria sumneriana) locally known as Kanpapar or Shajkan.

These mountainous women, from past many years, sell  Geopora on busy market pavements of north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Bandipora, and Kupwara districts.

According to the people who are associated with this business, the production of Shajkan witnessed a huge decline owing to the bad weather conditions last year.  “Last year weather conditions remained unfavorable for the production of Shajkan,” says Jana Bano who sell this upland edible in the Baramulla Town.

Saja, a widow, who sells Shajkan in North Kashmir’s Baramulla town says that the production of Shajkan, this year, has rekindled her hope that she will be able to feed her family. “I come from a very poor family and Shajkan - a rare kind of mushroom that remains available here in the month of March-April is the only source of income for me,” says Saja.

“We have to search forest terrains for several days and only then we are able to find this scarce Shajkan. We sell Shajkan for Rs 100 per kilogram as it takes us one complete day to collect few kilograms of this upland edible and the process is very hectic,” added Saja Bi.

“I have been selling vegetables and  Shajkan from last three years in order to feed my large family including six daughters ,” says an elderly, Naseema Begum.

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