Nepal's nature
Cordyceps sinensis or Yarcha Gumba
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Nepal Nature
Cordyceps sinensis in Nepal
Cordyceps sinensis in Bhutan
Mushrooms in Tibet
Use of Yarchagumba limited

March 2008

In Nepal the use of Yarchagumba is merely limited to its collection and export to foreign countries. Until 2001, its collection was illegal but the government, in response to its popularity and pressure from various organisations, attempted to regulate the trade by lifting the ban and imposing a substantial tax or royalty of Rs 20,000 on every kg of Yarshagumba collected. Best quality Yarshagumba fetches up to $15,000 per kg.

Baglung - Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve: Maoists allow locals to collect Yarchagumba

February 2006

The Maoists taking care of the reserve management have opened up collection of rare herb 'Yarchagumba' . The opening has attracted crowds of illegal collectors of Yarchagumba. Maoist workers have entered the area to take the royalty from the collectors.
According to the Reserve officials, it is illegal to collect the rare herb within the Reserve although it is permissible by paying royalty outside the Reserve.

The reserve is about 100 km west of Baglung at an altitude of 16, 000 feet (about 4,900 m) from the sea level. People come to the area in the pretext of business and get one piece of herb in exchange for a packet of noodles, locals say. They collect by paying to the Maoists, and export it to Tibet of China and India through contractors. The collectors pay NRs. 10 per piece of herb to the Maoists. The businessmen buy it at NRs. 40-50 from the farmers and sell it to Tibetan and Indian contractors.

Potent insurgency

June 2005

Maoists are financing their revolution with Himalayan viagra
The villages in this arid and remote district are all empty. No, it's not because of the Maoists. Every able-bodied person is up on the mountains collecting Yarchagumba (Yarshagumba).

This unique Himalayan fungus that grows like a worm out of the soil after the snow melts is in high demand internationally. Called 'Himalayan viagra' for its alleged potency, prices have shot up as China becomes more affluent.

Cordyceps sinensis
Dolpo goes for Yarchagumba

Thousands of people are making a beeline in Dolpo to collect Yarchagumba and most of them illegally. Thousands of Dolpo-dwellers, from other districts and even from Tibet have gathered in Dolpo, and this mad rush for the herb has led to the illegal collection, transportation and selling of Yarchagumba. People of all ages from school children to youths to old ones are involved in the collection.

The rush has increased after the government lifted the ban and on the collection of Yarchagumba in January 2001 hoping to collect millions in revenue. The government fixed a royalty of NRs. 20,000 per kilo. In Patans each piece of Yarchagumba are being sold at NRs. 20 - 23. Last year a piece of herb was sold at NRs. 30. The price for the rare herb within Nepal is NRs. 100, 000 to NRs. 140, 000 per kg.

Nepal: Collecting Yarchagumba is restricted

According to regulation, only licensed collctors are allowed to collect Yarchagumba. The processed Yarchagumba are allowed to be exported from the country. But there is no processing centre in the country.

The government which gave permission two years ago with NRs. 500 as royalty for one piece, plans to give permission for Rs. 20,000 of royalty per kg this year.

Traders say when they are not allowed to export unprocessed Yarchagumba what is the use of going through the legal process of obtaining license for collecting them. Majority of the Yarchagumba are taken to the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and to other countries through India.

As the herb collection is seasonal, it does not affect the environment, and the herb gives sexual vigour.


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Mushrooms in Tibet Mushrooms in Bhutan
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