It might be hard to find a kitchen in our country, in which asafoetida(Hing) is not used. The spice is also used as a medicine in the problem of stomach ache. But did you know that asafoetida for every household is not grown in India? Until now, asafoetida used in India was wholly imported from abroad, but now everything is about to change. Now asafoetida will be grown in the country for the first time.
Why it was not grown in the country till now?
CSIR and Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur have started asafoetida cultivation in the country for the first time. Dr. Shekhar Mande, Director General of CSIR, says that research has been done since 2016 to grow asafoetida in our country.
Asafoetida can only be cultivated in cold places like Ladakh and Lahaul Spiti. With this, some other geographical conditions have to be taken care of. Until now, asafoetida was imported from countries like Afghanistan and Iran. Sanjay Kumar, director of the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, has taken the initiative to grow asafoetida in Kavaring, a village in Lahaul and Spiti, a cold and dry district in Himachal Pradesh.
Consumption in India
India consumes about 40 per cent of asafoetida worldwide. Sanjay Kumar says that asafoetida consumption is very high in India, but it is not grown in India. As of now, we are dependent on abroad. Around 1200 metric tonnes of asafoetida worth about Rs 600 crore has been imported from Afghanistan, Iran and Uzbekistan. Efforts are now underway on about 5 hectares of land to grow it in India.