- Reduces import cost of 1000 crore per year
- Used to import 1300 tonnes of raw Hing from countries like Iran, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan
- Spice used as a part of Integral cooking in India
New Delhi: Hing/Asafoetida, which is most frequently used by Indians in cooking, has never been grown in homeland until now. Kwaring village of Lahual valley of Himachal Pradesh will be marked in history as the first place to grow Hing in India.
India, which is one of the highest consumer of Hing ( nearly 40%) is spending nearly Rs.1000 crore in importing this spice and thus Central government wants to reduce the bill by starting production in the country. Thanks to the efforts made by CSIR along with Institute of Himalayan Bio resource Technology (IHBT), who got the seeds from Iran and developed them through Agro technology.
Cold, dry regions suitable
According to the scientists, suitable climatic conditions for the cultivation of Asafoetida, is cold and dry region and so the Himalayan region in India was selected. Hing contains medicinal values which are used in various parts of the world for different cures like kidney stones, as diuretic, for ulcers and even for whooping cough. This spice is of high value with minimal 100gm ranging to Rs. 500 depending upon the quality and the country from it is imported.
IHBT has acquired 300 acres for cultivation as pilot project for five years as this will take time to grow and if succeeded they want to expand the crop cultivation to Uttarakand, Ladakh, and Arunachal Pradesh. This will reduce importing, cost and help farmers to grow economically.
A game changer
Government officials and CSIR are training farmers in growing the product properly by explaining the process of germination of plant and transplantation. The plant can be seen on the top of ground only for 2 months and after that it gets buried due to snowfall and goes into phase of hibernation. Farmers should have patience and not dig ground to check the growth which will disturb quality of the spice. These are the important factors farmers should remember while cultivating this, IHBT scientists hint. There are chances of improving the economic conditions of the people in these regions once the commercial crop comes to hand. It will be a game changer.