First-plantation of Heeng was done in Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Director CSIR-IHBT.
Heeng (asafoetida) is one of the widely used spices in Indian cuisine since time immemorial.
There is no production of heeng in India and 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.
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.