Vol. 79 (2021)
Original Articles - Appraisal and rural economics

The hidden value of non-timber forest products: income contribution of the Basilicata wild truffle

Mauro Viccaro
School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Basilicata
Severino Romano
School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Basilicata
Adele Coppola
School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Basilicata
Gerardo Vaccaro
School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Basilicata
Francesco Riccioli
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Pisa
Mario Cozzi
School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Basilicata
Published March 10, 2022
Keywords
  • Wild truffle,
  • Income generation,
  • Rural development

Abstract

The Basilicata region (South of Italy) is land of truffles where the gastronomic, economic and cultural awareness has developed for this non-timber forest product only in the past decade. Little is known about truffle production and its social, economic and environmental implications. In this article we investigate the Basilicata truffle sector by devoting particular attention to the truffle hunters who gather the truffles from the forests. The data for the analysis were collected through a survey with the aim of describing the gathering activity (people involved, specie and quantities collected, etc.) and assessing its significance as a source of income. Results show that truffles can provide local communities with earning opportunities. However, the truffle sector needs to be protected and enhanced.

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