Nomads of Lachenpa Community from Sikkim visits the Institute

Nine nomads from Lachenpa community of Sikkim and two drivers led by two officials from WWF, India, accompanied by an officer from Wangchuck Centennial National Park visited the Institute on 1 st of December, 2017.

One of the prime reasons they were in Bhutan was to study about sustainable harvesting of Chinese caterpillar, Ophiocordyceps sinensis. These nomads collect these rare fungi in the months of May and June and sell them to buyers visiting their doorsteps unlike in Bhutan where the collectors are required to put them up for auctioning.

Mr. Karma Thukten from the Institute presented on sustainable harvesting of Ophiocordyceps sinensis, challenges and threats, upland issues, income, auction and probable sustainable solutions to its collection in a mix of language as the nomads were not comfortable in English.

The nomads were very responsive asking lot of questions and willingly sharing their vast experiences in the field of fungal collection. During the presentation, they were unhappy about the low cost they were offered compared to what Bhutanese collectors were offered for an equal amount of their collection. They expressed their sincerest gratitude at the closure of presentation stating that they learnt many new lessons and are happy to share those knowledge back at home.

The group left after seeing the campus and looking round the exhibits displayed at the Institute’s courtyard.

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