First-plantation of Hing was done in Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Director CSIR-IHBT.
Hing is one of the widely used spices in Indian cuisine, and the country consumes around 50% of the total production in the world. Despite this, the spice was not being grown in India, and the entire demand was met from imports, mostly from Afghanistan. Although there is no cultivation in the country, it is processed in India using imported raw heeng. Currently about 1,200 tons of raw heeng worth Rs 600 crore is being imported annually from Afghanistan, Iran and Uzbekistan. Introduction of the crop will reduce the import.
CSIR Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (CSIR-IHBT) has introduced six accessions of heeng from Iran through the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi, and standardized its production protocols under Indian conditions. CSIR-IHBT has selected Lahaul-Spiti district for the first time in the country to produce asafoetida as a trial. As part of the trial, asafoetida plants have been provided to only 7 farmers in the valley at present for cultivation.
Heeng is a perennial plant and it produces oleo-gum resin from the roots after five years of plantation. It can be grown in unutilized sloppy land of cold desert regions.