Locals head to highlands
It’s about time! Locals of Manang and Lamjung are all set for their journey of the year to highlands to pick yarsagumba.
Also called Himalayan viagra, yarsa is ‘half-plant half-animal’, which is mostly found in Namke Kharka, Pisang, Dabal, Ghayru, Taiki, Narful, among other hilly areas, of Manang, and Dudhpokhari, Taghring and Ghermu, among other places, of Lamjung, and the start of the second week of May every year in these two districts spark a Himalayan gold rush, for these medicinal herb fetches locals millions.
“Yarsa of Manang is big and good,” said a loca. “Collection will continue till May end,” he added. Each individual picks between five and 60 pieces in a day and each can fetch up to Rs 300.
Meanwhile, authorities in Rukum have increased fees for collecting yarsagumba this year. A local individual has to pay Rs 3,000 while a trader must pay Rs 15,000 to acquire permission to harvest yarsa. Last year it was Rs 1,000 for a local individual and Rs 10,000 for a trader. Locals, however, do not have any objection to increased fee. “It’s nothing compared to the profit we make,” said Purna Maya Kami of Maikot. Purna Maya and five other members of her family have already paid the fees and embarked on their journey to harvest yarsa. In Rukum’s Ranmamaikot, Syalakhaladi and Maikot, yarsa harvest will begin in mid-May.
Meanwhile, a committee formed to look after the management of yarsa collection has begun distributing entry cards from today.
To avert possible crimes, the committee has also enforced some rules, which include harvesters must carry a document of proof of their identity and should not carry any type of weapons.
Yarsa fetches up to Rs 1,000 a piece in the local market.
Himalayan gold rush
• Locals are heading to Namke Kharka, Pisang, Dabal, Ghayru, Taiki, Narful of Manang and Dudhpokhari, Taghring and Ghermu of Lamjung to pick yarsa
• An individual can harvest between five and sixty pieces of yarsa every day
• Locally, each piece fetches locals up to Rs 300
• In Rukum, where yarsa season will begin in mid-May, authorities have put new rules as per which a local individual has to pay Rs 3,000 and a trader has to pay Rs 15,000 to get permission to harvest yarsa.