“Sheepadee” harvesters reap good profits in Kachin’s ice-capped mountains

The cordyceps fungus, Sheepadee in Myanmar, grows at altitudes of over 10,000 feet in the snow-capped Tibetan plateau of Putao District of Kachin State. Currently, the Sheepadee harvesters can make their extra income foraging for them.
The price of Sheepadee is K6,500 per creature this year in the Putao market and it is K7,500-K9,500 if the size is large.
There is high demand from Yangon and Mandalay and they are transported by car or flight, according to Saya Aung Thein Htwe, an online seller.
The hunters search for these zombie-like creatures by trekking deep into the Hponkan Razi, Gamlang Razi, Madwe Razi and Hkakabo Razi. Although there were only 2,000 Sheepadee hunters in the past, there are about 20,000 hunters this year.
Hunters have to stockpile the rations at the mountains in April and May and they forage for the Sheepadee in June, July and August.
The fungi demand has surged in recent decades largely for use in traditional medicine. — Hponkan (Putao)/KTZH

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