This year, the price for Cordyceps has hit its highest and the collectors are highly hopeful to reap a lucrative earning from the select Fungus.
A kilogram (kg) of cordyceps this year should fetch not less than Nu 400,000 and could fetch as much as Nu 1,400,000 depending on the quality. The price for a kilo of Cordyceps last year was Nu 0.65mn.
With the Cordyceps season just at its beginning, Wangduephodrang and Bumthang dzongkhags have already collected about 100 kilos of cordyceps. Last year the overall collection of cordyceps was only 190 kgs from all the seven Dzongkhags which gather cordyceps.
The Cordyceps collectors are happy with the auctioneers, the officials from the Food Corporation of Bhutan (FCB).
It is usual practice that 0.65% per kg of cordyceps has to be given to the FCB as commission by the buyers of the cordyceps for their service and assistance. And 10% or Nu 7,000 should also be paid by the buyers to the forest department as royalty charges.
Contrary to the excitement among the collectors, some of the villagers said the yield of the cordyceps is comparatively low this year.
Lingzhi Gup Wangdi said this year the yield is less but people are fine with it as they try to generate income through other sources like farming, and working in projects like the Lunana Lake mitigation works.
The Gup said, last year Cordyceps price was less, and the best quality Cordyceps fetched a maximum of Nu one million per kg.
A Cordyceps expert, Tshetenla from the Renewable Natural Resource Center (RNRC) said, “There won’t be much difference in the yield but people have complained about this year’s yield. He said “scientifically it depends upon season, good rain and also on weather conditions in the year”.
The marketing officer from the department of forest, Dorji Wangchuk said it is just that people feel, this year the yield is less but it actually should be more or less the same.
Sangay an FCB official who works cordyceps auctions said works are on as expected. “We plan to streamline the business in next two to three years for better service”.
The Cordyceps auction for the remaining five Dzongkhags will start after completion of the auctions in Gasa dzongkhag, which will be conducted in Tashiding.