With a kilogram of cordyceps fetching Nu 2.04mn and lowest Nu 0.251mn per kg in Lunana last month, this year saw an increase both in terms of volume and value of cordyceps compared to last year.
A report from thr Department of Agriculture Marketing and Cooperatives (DAMC) states that this year saw an increase of cordyceps in terms of volume by 2.59% and value by 26.13%.
Cordyceps is considered one of the most significant high value major revenue earner among non-wood forest products (NWFP) sold commercially both in domestic and international markets.
According to the report, a total of 356kg of cordyceps were auctioned on July 22 and August 22, which is an increase by 272grams compared to last year.
People withdrew 80kg of cordyceps, which aggregated to a total of about 436kg declared at the auction sites.
This year, cordyceps auction was conducted in ten different locations.
The report also states that among cordyceps-growing gewogs, Dangchu gewog, Wangduephodrang, recorded the highest collection of about 145kg, while Kashi gewog collected the lowest with 0.77kg.
A total of 38 bidders registered with DAMC and participated in the various auction sites.
According to records maintained by the Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS) and the Gewog administrations, 3,294 permits were issued to eligible cordyceps collectors and it was noted that only 3,280 collectors brought their cordyceps for auction.
It is not clear if the rest (14) did or did not harvest the cordycep this year or if they sold it directly to exporters.
The revenue generated through sales of cordyceps through auction in 2019 was about Nu 221.9mn and the royalty was about Nu 3.66mn.
Cordyceps auction prices have increased gradually in the past five years. On an average, the price for a kg of cordyceps increased from Nu 1.423mn to Nu 2.21mn in 2018 and Nu 2.22mn this year.
In Bhutan Cordyceps is found growing in the high lands of seven districts such as Paro, Gasa, Thimphu, Wangduephodrang, Bumthang, Lhuentse and Trashiyangtse dzongkhags.
With 50,291kg, Bhumthang dzongkhag recorded the second highest collection of cordyceps. Trashiyangtse and Lhuentse combined auctioned 5,207kg this year.
Cordyceps is marketed through open auction that is being facilitated by local government and various other agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), basically to create transparent and conducive environment for both sellers and buyers.
“Each year prior to commencement of trading, representatives from relevant agencies and stakeholders such as, collectors (sellers) and exporters meet to discuss on strategic planning for the cordyceps marketing besides finalizing the dates, auction sites and other documentation.”
The report states that for the first time, the auctions were carried out following the new Cordyceps Auction Guideline 2019 and Common Standard of Quality for Cordyceps, this year.
Kinley Yonten from Thimphu