Less quantity of cordycep declared at the auction this year
This year saw less quantity of cordycep declaration at auction unlike in the past few years was the finding made by the Department of Agricultural Marketing & Cooperatives under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. According to the Cordycep marketing report for the year 2015 the collectors in the western region like Wangdue, Paro, Gasa and Thimphu, expressed that the yield was very low this year. However, in central region like Bumthang, where the yield was considered very high proved questionable considering the quantity declared at auction which decreased by 100 % this year.
As per the report till date, the lowest quantity transacted was in the year 2007, where only 140.4 kg of cordyceps were transacted through auction. This year, the total quantity declared was 230.88kg, out of which 190.689 kg was auctioned. And accordingly, a total amount of Nu. 1.94 mn. was collected as royalty. Initially, only about 22 traders registered with the Department for participation during auctions but over the years it steadily increased. A total of 43 bidders registered this year.
The average price of cordyceps has also increased significantly, initially in 2004, the average price per kilogram of cordycep was Nu. 0.065 Mn whereas this year, the average price has reached to Nu. 0.78 Mn per kilogram . As in the previous years, the cordyceps brought by Lunana geog collectors fetched the maximum price i.e. Nu. 1.478 Mn for a kilogram of cordycep. The lowest price fetched was Nu. 0.09 Mn per kilogram at Bomdelling geog, Trashiyangtse
In 2015, a total of 43 traders registered with Department of Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives (DAMC) for participation in cordycep auction. The dates and venue for the cordyceps auction has been announced in media and shared through different modes. A total of 11 venues have been selected for 17 different cordyceps collection geogs.
This year the production quantity of cordycep declared at auction amounted to 230.881kg. And about 40.121 kg of cordyceps has been withdrawn from auction, which might have been taken to other auction sites, exported directly or sold to individuals after the auctioning period. The total royalty collection calculated at Nu. 8400 amounted to Nu. 1.94 million. Wangduphodrang dzongkhag saw the highest amount of cordycep collection i.e. 132.52 kg and Lhuntse dongkhag the lowest i.e. 0.893 gm.
The representation of collectors at auction sites remains a concern despite of conducive marketing systems in place. Out of 3354 collection permit issued across the country only 1865 participated during the auction. Few collectors expressed that they have not been able to go despite of having collection permit. However, certificate of origin might have proved to be a better tool to track whether the reasons are genuine for not participating during auction. The lack of awareness on the existing guideline must have been one of the main reasons for not participating during auction. Although, there are more than 90% collectors representation at certain auction sites like Thimphu dzongkhag but there are cases where the representation of collectors at auction is not even 40%. A maximum of 3 collection permits per household were issued by respective geog administration across the country, and about 1865 collectors participated during the auction.