Cultivation of Heeng (Asafoetida) started in India for the first time

CSIR constituent laboratory, IHBT (Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology) , Palampur, recently made history by introducing Heeng (asafoetida) cultivation in Indian Himalayan region.

  • The cultivation shall take place in the Lahaul valley in Himachal Pradesh.
  • India imports 
    • About 1200 tonnes of raw asafoetida annually from Afghanistan, Iran and Uzbekistan and spends approximately 100 million USD per year.
    • has now introduced six accessions of seeds from Iran through ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBPGR), New Delhi.
  • In the past thirty years, this has been the first attempt for introduction of asafoetida (Ferula assa-foetida) seeds in the country.
  • However, Challenge for the scientists is that heeng seeds remain under a prolonged dormant phase and the rate of seed germination is just 1%.