The increase in both the auction transaction and its value could be due to the conduct of the auction after a gap of two years
There is an increasing trend of cordyceps transactions over the years. Compared with the records of the 2018 auction report, 2019 saw a slight increase both in terms of quantity with 2.59 % auctioned and value with 26.13% and its value by 86.8% compared to the record of 2019.
However, last year, a total of more than 659 kg of cordyceps worth around Nu 414.74mn was sold through open auction whereas more than 301 kg of cordyceps were withdrawn after the collectors could not get their expected price.
The quantity of cordyceps auctioned has increased by 85% and its value by 86.8% compared to the record of 2019, this is according to the Cordyceps Auction Report 2022.
Amongst cordyceps growing gewogs, Sephu along with Gangtey gewog, Wangduephodrang, has the highest collection with over 354 kg of cordyceps, followed by 219.3 and 200.8 kg at Laya and Dangchu gewogs respectively. Whereas, Bumdeling gewog, Tashiyangtse had the lowest collection of cordyceps with 4.4 kg.
A kilogram of cordyceps sold for Nu 2.851mn from Lunana gewog, breaking the record and setting the highest bid so far. The Department of Agriculture Marketing and Cooperatives (DAMC) report states that the lowest price was Nu 0.281mn per kilogram at the Bumdeling auction site.
Overall, the revenue generated through sales of cordyceps through auction was about Nu 414.7mn and the royalty collected was about Nu 8.1mn.
Ap Tshering from Laya said that last year they had collected a large number of cordyceps and that the cordyceps business was doing well. “Though he could not go to the auction, he heard that this year’s business for cordyceps is better than 80% compared to previous years.”
Another villager, Tshoki Wangmo said, like before, it is hard to get cordyceps, and because of the lockdown, we could not sell, but she doesn’t have any idea how the business is going as she directly sells her cordyceps locally.
Similarly, Chaba Wangchuk from Laya, Lupcha, said that the price for higher grades has fetched higher rates last year, compared to the previous year, the price was good.
An official from the Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS) said that the increase in both the auction transaction and its value could be due to the conduct of the auction after a gap of two years and also could be due to bumper harvest this season especially in Sephu Gewog.
However, the report shows that there were forty-nine bidders registered with DAMC and most of them have participated in one or many auction sites.
According to the report, around 2,943 collection permits were issued to eligible cordyceps collectors, however, only 1,317 collectors have actually brought their cordyceps for auction as per the record maintained by the DoFPS.
“It is unclear whether the remaining 1,626 collectors did or did not collect the cordyceps or if they sold them directly to exporters,” the report states.
Department of Forest and Park Services found that some of the collectors have sent their cordyceps for auction through their friends or relatives who came to participate in the auction and this could be one of the reasons for fewer numbers of collectors turning up at auction sites.
Meanwhile, the cordyceps auction was not conducted for the years 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nidup Lhamo from Thimphu