niche agriculture

Local Cultivation for Heeng will start for the first time in India

Local Cultivation for Heeng will start for the first time in India

Indian kitchen staple Heeng or asafoetida which has never been grown locally is presently planning to be cultivated within the nation. Researchers from CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur have planted saplings of the condiment in Himachal Pradesh in the hope that heeng development will become a standard practice in India.

So far, the spice has had to be imported from Afghanistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan since it was never cultivated locally. Indeed though India devours 40 percent of the world’s production of heeng, worth Rs 600 crore, no endeavors were made to start growing it locally. But investigate on how to develop it within the nation started in 2016. The consumption of heeng is the highest in our nation but it is still not produced in India. We are completely subordinate to other countries for supply. Around 1,200 metric tons of raw heeng worth Rs 600 crore is being imported from Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan.

With seedlings of the condiment as of now being planted in around “5 hectares of arrive” in Himachal Pradesh, India presently plans to “scale up” heeng’s production by cultivating it “at least 300 hectares of land within the next three year. With budgetary help given by the state government amounting to Rs 4 crore, IHBT has set up a tissue culture lab that can rapidly develop lakhs of saplings.

A group of researchers from CSIR-IHBT diligently worked to introduce heeng in India. The institute presented six accessions of seeds from Iran via ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBPGR), Modern Delhi in October 2018.

ICAR-NBPGR substantiated that this is the primary endeavor in the past 30 years to introduce heeng within the country. CSIR-IHBT raised the condiment’s plants at CeHAB, Ribling, Lahaul Spiti, beneath the surveillance of NBPGR. The plant needs dry and cold conditions to grow and takes around five years for the production of oleo gum tar, which it stores in its roots. Thus, cold desert regions of the Himalayan region provide reasonable climatic conditions for heeng to grow. Asafoetida is one of the best spice crops and maybe a high-value condiment in India. It contains a strong, sharp smell, but a pinch of heeng can bring out the tasty flavor, particularly in veggie lover dishes.

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