People are thronging to Darchula district to collect the valuable herb yarsagumba (caterpillar fungus).
The Api Nampa Conservation Area has informed that the number of yarsa collectors has reached 35,000 until now this year while the number was 50,000 last year.
According to Ashok Kumar Ram, Chief at the Conservation Area, yarsa collecting season began from mid-April and will last until mid-June.
Rapla, Ghusa, Khandeshwori, Titala, Guljar are the pocket areas for yarsa collection.
Meanwhile, schools at Khandeshwori and Ghusa areas are closed as all the students are busy in collecting yarsa.
The Nampa Conservation Area has decided not to charge fee from yarsa collectors while local consumers committee may charge fee from them, Ram added.
He added that the area only charges a fee of Rs 10,000 per kg yarsa while giving permission to export it.
As many as 8.5 quintals of yarsa were collected in the district last year.