Nim Dorji | Trongsa

Bumthang is among the few dzongkhags where cordyceps collection takes place. However, waste is fast becoming a major problem in the collection sites.

The dzongkhag administration so has introduced a waste management strategy. Starting this season, cordyceps collectors will have to pay Nu 1,000 security deposit each. They must also bring back from collection sites at least five kilogrammes of waste.

Collectors will have to forfeit security deposit if they fail to bring back the required amount of waste and will be denied collection permit for the coming year.

Bumthang Dzongdag Passang Dorji said that security deposit would be refunded on fulfilling the condition such as attending health screening at the exit point, declaring five kgs of waste, and producing the health screening certificate issued by the health official at the exit points.

As part of Covid-19 preventive measures, all collectors will be required to attend mandatory flu screening when they go to and return from the collection sites.

The collectors from other dzongkhags travelling to the respective cordyceps collection site through Bumthang to drop rations or for the collection should produce a consent letter from the respective gewogs or dzongkhag administration office.

Two checkpoints at Zangtherpo and Thowadrak bridge in Tang have been installed to control illegal collectors. Each year, hundreds of collectors illegally enter Bumthang’s cordyceps collection sites.

“Those who fail to abide by the collection guideline shall be dealt as per the relevant law of the Kingdom,” dzongdag said.

The Cordyceps collection permits for Bumthang will be issued on May 18.

“In the past, we used to create awareness related to cordyceps harvesting in the chiwogs, but this year, due to the Covid-19 situation, we will go to villages,” said Pema Doengyel, Chhoekhor Gup.