Collection of the Yarsagumba or the caterpillar fungus in the Dolpa district will be opened to the public for a month beginning May 15.
A meeting of the District Coordination Committee held Saturday decided to open the highlands in Shey-Phoksundo National Park and different community forests to pick the Yarsagumba. DCC Chief Shyam Bahadur Rokaya, Chief District Officer of Dolpa Bhumishwar Pokharel, representatives of different political parties in the district, chiefs of security bodies, officials of the national park, division forest office and media persons were present at the meeting.
The Ophiocordyceps Sinensis is one of the key sources of income for the people here and adjoining districts as well. Most of the local residents in the district manage the school fees of their kids and household expenses from the sale of the Ophiocordyceps Sinensis collected in this season. Stating that the public has not been able to collect Yarsagumba for a long time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this time it was opened for about a month.
Residents of the buffer zone, within the district and outside the district, will be charged different entrance fees for Yarsa collection as per the National Parks Act and regulations. The residents of the buffer zone should pay Rs 500 while Rs 2,000 for the people from within the district and Rs 3,000 in fees for the people from other districts for the collection of Yarsagumba.
The collectors would be provided with permit document from Suligard, Dho, Saldang, Rigmo, Sumduwa, Chhepka, Tripurakot, Khaliwan, Pahada and Toijam of Dolpa and Dolfu and Kimri of Mugu district. Likewise, such documents would also be distributed as per the needs of the division forest office.
Similarly, security provision has been beefed up in view of any untoward activities that could happen with the crowd of people visiting the highlands for the collection of Yarsagumba.