Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
'Heeng' cultivation was also taken up in Himachal Pradesh's other high-altitude areas like Keylong, Beeling and Madgran in Lahaul-Spiti district, Janjhehli and Moviseri in Mandi district and Kalpa and Pooh in Kinnaur district. Pinterest

After offering pest-free potatoes and exotic vegetables that are foodies’ delight, farmers of Himachal Pradesh are set to add flavour to the Indian culinary life by offering home-grown asafoetida (heeng) — a first for the country — in the coming years.

Agriculture Minister Virender Kanwar told IANS on Sunday that the first plantation of asafoetida, which gives a zing to the recipes due to its unique pungent smell owing to high sulphur content, was done successfully on an experimental basis in Kwaring village in Lahaul Valley at an altitude of 11,000 feet on October 15, 2020.


Thereafter, ‘heeng’ cultivation was also taken up in the state’s other high-altitude areas like Keylong, Beeling and Madgran in Lahaul-Spiti district, Janjhehli and Moviseri in Mandi district and Kalpa and Pooh in Kinnaur district. The expensive oleo-gum-resin will be ready for extraction from the roots of the plants after five years of plantation, he said.

Please Follow NewsGram on Facebook To Get Latest Updates!

Heeng, a perennial plant, is otherwise native to the deserts of Iran and mountains of Afghanistan, where it is grown in substantial numbers. ‘Heeng’ is one of the widely used spices in Indian cuisine, and the country consumes around 50 per cent of the total world production. Currently, around 1,200 tonnes of raw ‘heeng’ worth around Rs 600 crore is imported annually, mainly from Afghanistan.

At present, 5,000 square metres of land has been covered by ‘heeng’ plantation in Himachal Pradesh. Approximately 302 hectares would be brought under its cultivation in five years under the pilot project.

Kanwar said that more snow-bound areas would be brought under ‘heeng’ cultivation if the project is a success, which is monitored by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT) based in Palampur and the Agriculture Department.

The Indian Himalayas with dry and extreme cold conditions and an annual rainfall of not more than 200 mm are considered conducive to ‘heeng’ cultivation. Scientists say since the plant roots penetrate very deep, sandy and clay soil is best suited for its cultivation.


After offering pest-free potatoes and exotic vegetables that are foodies’ delight, farmers of Himachal Pradesh are set to add flavour to the Indian culinary life by offering home-grown asafoetida (heeng) — a first for the country — in the coming years. Pinterest

As per the Agriculture Department, 2,100 ‘heeng’ saplings have been provided to 45 farmers and 1,233 saplings planted at an experimental farm of the CSIR-IHBT. As part of the project, a capacity-building programme was organised for officers of the department in July 2020. The department is identifying farmers and providing them seedlings, technical know-how, and other infrastructure free of cost to motivate them to go for ‘heeng’ cultivation.

ALSO READ: Mountain Kilimanjaro Is Scaled By A Telangana IPS Officer

The farm scientists of the CSIR-IHBT are providing the technical know-how to update the skills of the farmers involved in the pilot project. Kanwar pointed out that the cultivation of ‘heeng’ held the potential to change the economic condition of people living in cold desert areas of the hill state.

The ultimate aim is, the Minister said, to prepare the state for cultivation of ‘heeng’ on a commercial scale. “There is hardly any Indian kitchen that does not use ‘heeng’. Its cultivation will not only help save foreign exchange, but also boost the economy of tribal regions that remain covered in snow for most part of the year,” the Minister added. (IANS)


Popular

IANS

Rihanna was summoned from her seat to accept the honour, with the Prime Minister.

Singer Rihanna was honoured by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at an event which marked Barbados's new status as a republic, which was attended by Prince Charles. Addressing the pop star by her real name, the PM said: "Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning shall have conferred upon her the order of national hero of Barbados."

Rihanna was then summoned from her seat to accept the honor, with the Prime Minister managing to rouse a laugh from the singer when she referenced her 2012 hit 'Diamonds', reports femalefirst.co.uk. She added: "On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you, the designee, for the national hero of Barbados." "And to accept on behalf of a grateful nation - you can come my dear - ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty, may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation." Rihanna, who was born in the St Michael parish of Barbados, found fame in 2005 after being spotted by a record producer and has since gone on to become one of the most successful female artists of all time with sales of over 250 million and recently reached billionaire status through her Fenty beauty brand.

The Prime Minister continued in her speech: "Commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth. "Having satisfied that, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attaining of the highest excellence to the Government of Barbados." It comes after a historic move for Barbados, which has become a republic after almost 400 years and welcomes its first president, Sandra Mason, after removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. (IANS/ MBI)


Keep Reading Show less
Pxhere

It's that time of the year when there are festivities galore and entertaining comes to the fore.

By Manav Bhatia

It's that time of the year when there are festivities galore and entertaining comes to the fore. Manav Bhatia, Founder Trunkin shares some tablescapes for the season

Christmas Tablescapes: Whether it's cherry red tablecloths or plush green napkin rings, there's something for everyone. Red and green are synonymous with colour themes this time of year.

red and white candles on white ceramic vase Red and green are synonymous with colour themes this time of year. | Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
VOA

Typically, Glaucoma occurs in people with over the age of 60 however it can occur at any age.

By IANSlife

Have you ever faced eye redness? Or have witnessed blurry or foggy vision? Or experiencing halos around lights? Or nausea and vomiting are very common for you. You may well be suffering from Glaucoma which needs immediate attention.

Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). Typically, it occurs in people with over the age of 60 however it can occur at any age. It is also estimated that globally 79.6 million people are affected with glaucoma, half of them being Asian population. While in India, around 11.9 million people suffer vision impairment and out of which 1.2 million cases are due to Glaucoma. It is a growing concern for the population in India. Even after these high numbers, the enormous majority remains undiagnosed, and untreated. More than 90 percent of cases of Glaucoma remain undiagnosed.

Pink eye Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). | Wikimedia Commons

Keep reading... Show less