Asafoetida or heeng (referred to as in Hindi) is a standard ingredient in Indian kitchens. The nation yearly imports about Rs 600 crore value of the flavouring herb, which is now set to witness a sea change.
Scientists at CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Know-how, Palampur (IHBT), are at current intention to domesticate heeng within the Indian Himalayas. Final week, the primary sapling had been planted in Himachal Pradesh’s Kwaring village in Lahaul valley to start out this mission.
This can make Himachal Pradesh the primary state to domesticate heeng within the nation.
So, what’s heeng and why wasn’t India rising it?
The herb’s organic nomenclature is Ferula asafoetida. It’s a herbaceous perennial plant and shops most of its vitamins inside its deep fleshy roots.
Heeng can solely be grown and cultivated in very chilly areas akin to Ladakh and Lahaul Spiti. The herb was earlier being imported from international locations like Afghanistan and Iran. It thrives in dry and chilly desert circumstances.
How a lot heeng is consumed by Indians?
In accordance with studies, India consumes about 40 % of the world’s manufacturing of heeng.
IHBT has arrange a tissue tradition lab that may develop lakhs of saplings, with funding of Rs 4 crore supplied by the state authorities.
How will India domesticate heeng?
Till now, Heeng wasn’t cultivated in India. Authorities information means that India imports about 1,200 tonnes of uncooked heeng which is value Rs 600 crore from international locations like Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
In 2017, IHBT approached the Nationwide Bureau of Plant Genetic Assets (NBPGR) with an ideation to conduct experimental challenge for rising heeng within the Indian Himalayas.
For analysis functions, imported heeng seeds remained within the custody of NBPGR. The seeds went by a lot of exams and below quarantine, to take away the opportunity of any fungal/infectious ailments.
After going by all regulatory approvals from Indian Council of Agriculture Analysis (ICAR), six accessions of heeng (EC966538 with Import Allow-318/2018 and EC968466-70 with Import Allow-409/2018) have been launched by IHBT.
The largest impediment for the scientists was that heeng seeds remained below an prolonged dormant part with the speed of seed germination being just one per cent.
Ashok Kumar, senior scientist at IHBT and Precept Investigator of the analysis challenge stated, “Every of the six accessions imported showcased various levels of germination.”
He additional added, “After about 20 days, all six accessions of seeds gathered from numerous areas of Iran germinated below managed laboratory circumstances.”
What are among the advantages of heeng?
The advantages and medicinal properties of heeng embrace aid from digestive and abdomen issues. It helps in fixing issues associated to bronchial asthma and bronchitis. The herb can also be used to cope with menstrual ache and pre-mature labour.