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Prospects for mushroom growing in Lebanon

4-1-2019

In its issue of today, L’Orient Le jour devoted an article on the cultivation of mushroom in Lebanon which is still untapped. The newspaper spotlighted efforts by Sandra Sleiman, who is writing her Master’s dissertation on natural resources management at the Lebanese University on the different varieties of mushrooms grown locally. On the subject, Sleiman explained that the country lacks specialists and laboratories to determine the types of the crop that are edible, mentioning a Facebook page created by LU assistant professor, Jean Estephan, named Lebanon Flora. The site, which is in part devoted to picking mushrooms and the kinds of plants grown in Lebanon, has a wide visibility, especially from experts from Canada, Romania, Portugal and France, according to Sleiman. The latter pointed out that visitors to the page post images of mushrooms to learn whether they are eatable. She noted the growing interest in the crop which is increasingly used in many local dishes and recipes, particularly this year, especially that abundant rainfall encourages mushrooms to sprout everywhere. Sleiman said that while Syrian refugees are largely involved in picking wild mushrooms, many households have been poisoned for eating the inedible types. Due to the risks associated with picking mushrooms, and given the absence of specialized labs, Sleiman said she sent specimens of the crop to a French laboratory in Montpelier and is waiting for the results which hopefully will be taught at schools. (L’Orient Le Jour, January 4, 2019)

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