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Uttarakhand cabinet approves policy on extraction of Himalayan aphrodisiac

All those who will extract the medicine yarsa gumba, the Himalayan aphrodisiac, from the wild will have to be registered with the Uttarakhand government.

dehradun Updated: Sep 13, 2018 01:36 IST
HT Correspondent
Uttarakhand,cabinet,Himalayan aphrodisiac
The policy focuses on checking trafficking of the miracle fungus which is formed by a symbiotic association of a caterpillar and mushroom specie. Yarsa is found at an altitude of over 14,000 ft in Himalayan ranges. (HT File Photo)

The Uttarakhand cabinet on Wednesday approved a policy for yarsa gumba, the Himalayan aphrodisiac, in which all those who will extract the medicine from the wild will have to be registered with the government.

The policy focuses on checking trafficking of the miracle fungus which is formed by a symbiotic association of a caterpillar and mushroom specie. Yarsa is found at an altitude of over 14,000 ft in Himalayan ranges. In Uttarakhand, Pithoragarh and Chamoli are two of its potential sites.

Lack of policy till date had led to extraction of the aphrodisiac which is used in Chinese medicines. This is why the fungus is sold illegally, especially across border areas.

Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation (UAFDC) is responsible to market Yarsa but the rates offered are too low as compared to market price. No collector remains interested in selling the stock to the government.

Meanwhile, there’s no check or monitoring on the number of people that extract Yarsa and the extracted stock.

The policy will aim at registering locals who will move to higher areas for its extraction. As per the policy, Rs 1000 will be charged for collection of 100gm. The revenue generated through registration by the administration will be submitted to the local van panchayat for conservation of forest.

The district magistrate and ranger will approve the collected stock and only then will the person be able to sell it.

The cabinet also approved merger of 11 inter colleges with less than 30 students and 23 schools till 10th grade. The positions of teacher and staff will also be merged.

The cabinet also approved giving about 30 km area in Haridwar worth Rs 847 crore to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for widening and other works. Solar projects under five megawatt were also approved.

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 01:36 IST