English | Dzongkha Thursday, August 22, 2019

Voters elect to go collect cordyceps

May 21, 2011

The local government elections are around the corner. The people are waiting with excitement and anticipation but not the Dangchups. The people of Dangchu Geog in Wangdue have other fish to fry. They are heading towards the windswept alpine regions to harvest cordyceps.

Earlier this week, most of the able bodied men and women in the village gathered in front of the geog office to collect the permit to harvest codyceps.

“I plan to leave early tomorrow morning,” said Jambay promising that he would be back in time for the elections.

“I already have my permit. I will be leaving the day after,” said Phurba.

For many, cordyceps is the main source of cash income. It fetches a good deal of money. Last year, farmers got as much as Nu.400, 000 for a kilogram at public auction.

Like the Dangchups, many people in Wangdue, Bumthang, Paro, Thimphu and other areas where cordyceps grow will be preparing to venture into the mountains trekking for days before setting up camp.

Most of them would be gone for a month or so. While many of the cordyceps collectors in Dangchu said they will try and make it back to their village in time for the elections, others are skeptical.

“Only the too old or too young will be left in the village during the elections,” said Kaka.

Tsagay is worried that they”may not be able to elect the right leaders with most of the people gone.”

The geog officials are doing want they can to educate the people on the importance of the local government elections and how crucial it is for them to participate.

The farmers understand that but a living has to be made and the lure of lucre is too strong a temptation.

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