Guchhi prices plummet as China cornering the market

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The price of exotic morel mushrooms, known as ‘Guchhi’ in the region, has witnessed a huge drop of over 37 per cent this year.

The price of this Himalayan treasure was approximately Rs 8,000 per kg in April, but now it is being sold for around Rs 5,000.

Traders say that the cultivation of Guchhi in China has had a large impact and the prices have fallen sharply in the last five years.

37% drop

The price of exotic morel mushrooms, known as ‘Guchhi’ in the region, has witnessed a huge drop of over 37 per cent this year

The morel mushroom is considered to be full of nutrition and is a highly-priced delicacy in five-star hotels across the world.

However, the demand for natural Guchhi from the mountains of Himachal Pradesh has decreased due to it being cultivated in polyhouses of China

Guchhi is exported from Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir to China, America, France, Italy and other countries

Amit Sood, a well-known Guchhi wholesaler here, said the prices of morel mushroom have come down to less than a half in the last four-five years. He said, “Before 2020, Guchhi was sold for Rs 10,000 to Rs 13,000 per kg, but these days it is being sold in Kullu for Rs 4,500 to Rs 5,000 per kg.”

He added that a crash in the prices was threatening the existence of the morel mushroom and its volume in the district was decreasing, as people were not taking the painstaking effort to collect these from the forests, due to falling prices.

Kishori Lal, a resident of Sainj village, said this year there has been a bumper availability of Guchhi in the region, but the prices have disappointed people.

Bir Singh Thakur of Phanauti village of Raghupur area, who has been in the Guchhi business for 35 years, said the rates are falling year after year due to Guchhi being cultivated by China in polyhouses.

A mushroom trader, Beli Ram of Til village in Banjar subdivision, said, “China has found an alternative to cultivate this natural mushroom.

China has researched the soil attached to the joints of Guchhi imported from India and has established hundreds of polyhouses for its artificial cultivation.

The country was now producing large quantities of Guchhi due to which prices had slashed here.”

It is worth mentioning that apart from Kullu, Chamba, Mandi, Shimla, Kinnaur and Sirmaur of Himachal Pradesh, Guchhi is found in large quantities in the forests of Uttarakhand. Every year, crores of rupees worth of this Himalayan treasure is traded in these regions.

Guchhi is also exported from Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir to China, America, France, Italy and other countries.

This morel mushroom is considered to be full of nutrition and is a highly-priced delicacy in five-star hotels across the world.

It is considered a panacea for heart and other diseases. However, the demand for natural Guchhi from the mountains of Himachal Pradesh has decreased due to it being cultivated in polyhouses of China.