Prabesh Roka and Dr. Raj Tripathi are risking five years of hard work on truffle cultivation in Nepal. Truffles are edible subterranean fungi worth their weight in gold. They have set up experimental plots near Thabang village of Rolpa District. Thabang is a picturesque, remote settlement in western Nepal that experienced some of the heaviest fighting during the ten-year revolution (1996-2006). Other than an attempt at high-end agriculture, there is little driving the subsistence economy in Thabang. Tourism is slowly picking up in the enchanting hamlet on the southern fringes of the Guerrilla Trek and Yarsagumba (Cordyceps) Trails. A few hardscrabble travelers trickle through now and again.
The Himalayan gamble might pay off lavishly. Visionary innovation is deserving of a country with the world’s highest and most dazzling peaks…and the far-western roxy (moonshine) is unbeatable.
Please find more about their attempts at cultivating Himalayan truffles in Nepal in a feature story at the following link: HImalayan Truffles by Alonzo Lyons, ECS Magazine, 15 January 2015 (http://ecs.com.np/features/himalayan-truffles).
Cheers and keep on trekking!