Chencho Dema | Wangdue

The cordyceps collectors of Kazhi gewog in Wangude reported a decreased yield this year, with only 1kg auctioned compared with last year’s 7.3kg. 

A total of 13 sellers who had collected the fungus from the gewog, along with 10 buyers attended the auction at the Kazhi gewog centre. The highest bid was Nu 1,621,000, while the lowest was Nu 586,000. 

A total of 530 gms was auctioned and 480 gms withdrawn out of one kg brought for auction. An official from the Department of Agriculture and Marketing Cooperatives said that some sellers decided to withdraw from the auction due to their inability to secure their desired price.

Last year, a total of 58 permits were issued, and 32 collectors were engaged in cordyceps collection. A total of 6.3kg were auctioned, while 925 grams were withdrawn from a total of 7.3kg bought for the auction. The highest bid in 2022 was Nu 1,118,000, and the lowest bid was Nu 425,000.

Kinley Wangdi, the Kazhi gup, attributed the decrease in yield this year to the untimely collection of the fungi in the gewog. He further explained that the Lunaps had a prosperous harvest the previous year, while this year, it was the residents of Sephu and Bumthang who benefited. 

An increase in the number of collectors and a decline in cordyceps in the highland were identified as contributing factors for the reduced output.

The next cordyceps auction for Wangdue will take place in Dangchu gewog today and tomorrow. Subsequently, from July 15 to 17, the final cordyceps auction for the dzongkhag will be hosted by Gangtey and Sephu gewogs. 

The subsequent auction locations will be in Bumthang from July 19 to 21, Gasa from July 24 to 27, Paro on July 29, and Thimphu from July 30 to August 1. 

The last auction will be held at the Bumdeling gewog office on August 6 for Lhuentse and Trashiyangtse.