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rush for most expensive caterpillar fungus Keeda Jadi in the Himalayan range

Introduction

Rush for most expensive caterpillar fungus (Keeda Jadi) in the Himalayan range.
The ‘caterpillar fungus’ or keeda jadi grows in Uttarakhand’s high-altitude border districts of Pithoragarh at an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 metres. Known as the ‘Himalayan Viagra’.

One kilo of top-grade keeda jadi can sometimes fetch as much as Rs. 12 lakhs in illegal cross-border trade.

The fungus harvesting season in Uttarakhand’s high-altitude border districts of Pithoragarh and Chamoli starts in early May and ends by the middle or end of June, with the arrival of the monsoon.

Entire families move to the meadows, staying in tents for weeks, working long and arduous hours to collect the fungus.

And they return with enough fungus to cover a chunk of the family’s expenses for a considerable period of time.

“It depends on how many pieces of keeda jadi you pick. The earnings last for a few months for some families and pro.vide sustenance for some for a year.

About Keeda Jadi

Himalaya is the place of medical plants which cannot be found anywhere else.
Keeda Jadi is basically a fungus that grows as a parasite on the larvae of a particular kind of caterpillar. The fungus evolves in the living larva, which kills and mummifies the larva and then develops as a stalk-like fruiting figure.

Caterpillars take 5 years to grow underground in Alpine grass and shrublands before finally pupating (from larva) and are attacked by the fungus while feeding on roots. It finally takes the shape of 5-15 centimeter columnar mushroom out of the forehead of the caterpillar
Before the villagers discovered the lucrative fungus, they depended on agriculture, daily wage labour or sheep-herding. But agriculture is not a viable option in this rugged landscape. “The land is not fertile; we mostly cultivate rajma and potatoes. If the harvest is good, and that is rare.

Its collection and illegal trade have transformed remote villages of Uttarakhand, where it is found in the wild.

sinensis, Kida Jadi, or Yarsa-gumba, Yarsha-gumba or Yarcha-gumba, यार्सागुम्बा (in Hindi language) is an entomopathogenic fungus (a fungus that grows on insects) in the family Ophiocordycipitaceae.
 
The genus has a worldwide distribution and most of the approximately 400 species that have been described are from Asia (notably Nepal, China, Japan, Bhutan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand). Cordyceps species are particularly abundant and diverse in humid temperate and tropical forests

High value and illegal trading Keeda Jadi

Keeda Jadi in natural form
In the global market, Keeda Jadi is worth Rs 18 lakh for a kilogram which is around 3500 and 4500 pieces of fungus.

But in reality, the locals get only Rs 1 or 2 lakh for collecting and selling them. In India, every year families in some regions of rural Kumaon along with their children plod up in the hills of the Himalayas at the altitude of 3500 to 5000 meters to collect the Keeda Jadi. In India, it is found in Chamoli, Uttarakhand, and hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh.
Their high value also leads to the conflict among villages and illegal trade as in India it is not legalized. This rare fungus is only found when summer sets in and snow (glacier) melts at higher altitudes of the Kumaon region and exposes mummified caterpillars. 

People have started using uneven means to collect Keeda Jadi. Sometimes, forests are put on the fire to melt the snow. Such unnatural practices are causing damage to the environment and precious species also
Keeda Jadi

The Story behind the keed jadi Famous world wide.

The demand for yarsagumba reportedly shot up in 1993 when three Chinese athletes broke five world records at the Beijing National Games after regularly consuming a tonic apparently made from the fungus.

In 1999, China classified the fungus as an endangered species. Soon after, the fungus-picking made its way to India.

“In the early 2000s, we saw Tibetan khampas searching for the fungus in pastures on the Indian side. They said it could rarely be found in
Himalan Range

Its advantages and medical usages

1. Cancer Treatment
2. Sexual Health Benefits
3. Stress Reliever
4. Strengths of Kidney and Immune System
5. Increases Stamina
6. Good for Muscles
7. Increases Sperm Count
8. Benefits of asthma and bronchitis patients.

Government Policy For trading Keeda Jadi

The new goverment policy, proposes registering every harvester with the van panchayats (forest councils managed by village communities) or forest range office with their Aadhaar or voter identification card.

The person will disclose the days he/she will spend collecting keeda jadi and in which particular area of the forest range. He/ she also has to disclose the amount of keeda jadi they have collected.

“For every 100 gram, the forest department will charge a royalty of Rs. 1,000. The buyer is then free to sell it to van panchayats or any third party. It then becomes legal to sell it,”.

  “The alpine meadows are ecologically fragile. So when the policy comes into effect, we will know how much it is harvested in the state, and what’s happening in the region.”

Conclusion

I would like to share that Himalayan is the place of medical plants that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

We have to respect it. If we destroy it, so nature has most destruction power than us , we see time to time recently like face of floods all over the world .

So we forget our personal interest and greed, government have to come with new rules and regulation that help local people get benefited for their earnings and our government earns revenue and illegal trading will stop in future.

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