Increased vigil, border tension curb sale of ‘Himalayan Viagra’ | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Increased vigil, border tension curb sale of ‘Himalayan Viagra’

Increased vigil by the local police and the Indo-China border tension has taken its toll on the trade of Yarsa Gumba this year, with the sellers adopting wait and watch policy

dehradun Updated: Aug 11, 2017 19:48 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
A collector plucks yarsa gumba, also known as Keeda Jadi, from the field in Kumaon hills
A collector plucks yarsa gumba, also known as Keeda Jadi, from the field in Kumaon hills(HT Photo)

Increased vigil by the local police and the Indo-China border tension has taken its toll on the trade of Yarsa Gumba this year, with the sellers adopting wait and watch policy. The rate of this expensive aphrodisiac, known as ‘Himalayan Viagra’ is currently around ₹7-8 lakh per kg, which sometimes goes up to ₹15 lakh.

Yarsa Gumba is the fusion of a moth and a fungus that emerges out of the melting snow. Its trade is banned in India.

This year, the collection or picking of Yarsa Gumba was conducted in the alpine meadows of the state till July 15 . The competition was high due to the large number of people, who had gone to collect the aphrodisiac, locally known as ‘Keeda Jadi’.

Indra Singh of Munsyari said that the collected Yarsa Gumba is sold by the local people to contractors. It is then taken to Nepal or China through various routes to be sold in the international markets. In Mid July, the contractors were offering ₹6 lakh per kg to the villagers, due to which they did not sell the produce. The state government has introduced city patrolling unit (CPU), a dedicated police force for checking crime in Pithoragarh district, which has created panic among the Yarsa Gumba traders.

Hukum Singh of Dharcula said that the authorities caught two people in separate incidents in Chamoli and Pithoragarh district with Yarsa Gumba, which created panic among the contractors. The continuing tension between India and China has also contributed to the sluggish trade of the aphrodisiac.

Pithoragarh superintendent of police Ajay Joshi said there is no police presence in the areas where Yarsa Gumba is collected, as the aphrodisiac is found in the higher reaches. “The revenue police keeps a tab over the activities of people in these areas, but this time we have caught some persons with Yarsa Gumba and have been keeping vigil that has led to curb on its trade,” said Joshi.