Business: A kilogramme of cordyceps fetched Nu 1.55 million at the Chokhor gewog centre in Bumthang on July 20, the highest amount ever recorded so far in a cordyceps auction after collection of the fungi was legalised in the country.

It was the last lot that bagged the highest price. The highest price per kilogramme before the last lot stood at Nu 905,000/kg.

As the bids surpassed the Nu 900,000 mark, officials and bidders clapped as each higher bid was made.

A total of 84.268kgs of cordyceps were auctioned on July 19 and 20, which is an increase by 60kgs compared to last year. People withdrew 19.920 kilogrammes of cordyceps after they could not get their expected price. Of the 24kgs, 12.1kgs were withdrawn last year.

The lowest price per kg was Nu 21,000/kg and the highest was Nu 902,000/kg in the first day. People from Chokhor, Tang and Chumey brought their cordyceps to auction.

Kinzang Dhendup from Sangsangma in Chokhortoe said he earned a higher price than last year despite having less cordyceps this year. However the size of the cordyceps were larger this year. “The size matters,” he said adding that he collected 3,000 pieces last year but only 1,500 pieces this year.

Kinzang returned home with around Nu 200,000 as compared to Nu 170,000 last year. “This is all because of quality and the size,” he said.

For Sonam Tshering, 34, from Dhur, there was a decrease in both the price and the number of cordyceps. He earned Nu 103,028 by selling 2,500 pieces. He collected 3,700 pieces of cordyceps last year fetching him some Nu 240,000.

The dzongkhag issued 804 permits for the collection of cordyceps this year.

Nima Wangdi | Bumthang