Hing Farming (Asafoetida), Cultivation Practices

HING FARMING:

The following content is all about Hing Farming or Growing Asafoetida.

INTRODUCTION ABOUT HING FARMING:

The Hing farming is being practiced for centuries. The Hing is being cultivated and harvested from time immemorial. The first cultivation of the Hing plant was started in the late 12th century.

The Hing is scientifically named as “Asafoetida”. This same crop is referred to both as “Food of the gods” and “devil’s dung”. The Hing is in the form of dried latex gum, which is discharged from the herb called Rhizome or Ferula of several tap roots, the herb named perennial herb grows at the height of 1 to 1.5 m in length. The Hing is a combination of two to three spices.

The hing is expected to be an Apiaceae (aromatic flowering species). The maximum species are farmed by the local native people in the deserts of Iran and mountain region of Afghanistan. The HING is also cultivated in places near to India. The crop can be only grown in the drained out areas like deserts. This crop is expected to grow well in sandy areas and it is known to be grown by the Western botanists in the Aral desert region.

The Hing has an aromatic smell and it is used in cooking as it conveys a smooth flavour of leek to the food.

COMMON NAMES OF HING IN OTHER LANGUAGES (National/International):

  • English: Asafoetida
  • Hindi: Hing
  • Persian: Angustha-Gandha
  • Arabic: Tyib
  • Sindhi: Vagharni
  • Marathi: Hing
  • Gujarathi: Hing
  • Kashmiri: Yang-Sap
  • Malayalam: Kayam
  • Tamil: Perungaayam
  • Oriya: Hengu
  • Sanskrit: Badika
  • Telugu: Inguva.

HISTORY OF HING FARMING:

The Hing has come across the land of Iran from European Countries.  For the domestic expedition the hing is taken to the Alexander the great, The person who returned from the north-eastern Persian, he found the plant And then he gave the name and fame to the plant in Silphium of Cyrene of North Africa.

BASIC USES OF HING:

  • COOKING.
  • MEDICINE.

COOKING:

  • The Hing is used in cooking as it helps to solve indigestion problems. The food also does not get contaminated easily. The Hing is used in pickles for flavor and also as a preservative. In Indian Vegetarian cuisine hing plays a critical role as it acts as umami (like a category of taste in food (besides sweet, sour, salt, and bitter). The taste of Hing Corresponds to the flavor of glutamates, especially monosodium glutamate enhancer.
  • The Hing is used along with turmeric; it is used as a standard ingredient in curries, sambar and dal. It is also used in Kashmir cuisines like lamb/mutton dishes.
  • Components of food (sweet, salty, sour and spicy) are harmonized by using Hing in food. The Hing is added while tempering the cooked food. It can also be used in salads by diluting it in water.

TRADITIONAL MEDICINES:

  • The Hing is widely used in medicines because it is considered to have antibiotic properties.
  • Using Hing slows-down the growth of microflora in the rectum that in turn can reduce the flatulence.
  • The roots are claimed to help the patients fighting against influenza and it also has the property of producing antiviral drugs that can kill the flu viruses easily.
  • It helps us in fighting against indigestion problem by smudging it on the abdomen with water.
  • As it has contraceptive property, it should not be consumed by the pregnant women.

CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING OF HING FARMING:

Hing is popularly produced like a gum structure.  Hing Plant cultivation in the kitchen garden or for commercial purpose can be done using the following specifications.

  1. Soil and climatic conditions for Hing Farming:

The soil, which can be picked for the cultivation of the HING FARMING should be a mix of sand, loamy or clay. The Hing can tolerate all pH levels like acidic, neutral and basic soil types. The soil should be well drained as well. As it is a known fact that Hing grow best in deserts, it is evidently clear that the climatic conditions of a desert area are suitable for Hing cultivation. The Hing is cultivated the month of August at a temperature range of 20-30˚C or sometimes even more.

  1. Planting Location for Hing Farming:

Location where sun directly interacts with land is selected. As the Hing crop needs abundance of sunlight, it can’t be grown in a shady region.

  1. Spacing for Hing Farming:

A distance of 5 feet between each crop of Hing should be maintained while Hing farming.

  1. Propagation and Planting method for Hing Farming:

Seeds of the Hing plant should be selected properly to get a maximum yield. The seed must be implanted into the soil with the distance of 2 feet between each seed. The plants propagate through seeds. The seeds can initially be grown in a greenhouse and then transferred to the soil at the seedling stage. This crop is considered to be self fertile and can also propagate through pollination by insects.

  1. Germination of crop For Hing Farming:

The seeds must be implanted into the soil directly at the early spring season. As the seed is exposed to cold and moist climatic conditions, the process of germination starts.

  1. Irrigation for Hing Farming:

Irrigation for Hing crops is required only during the process of germination. Crops are watered after testing the soil with a finger for moisture. If there is no moisture in the soil, irrigation or watering is done. Water-logging can harm the crops.

  1. Harvest during Hing Farming:

As the crops grow into trees in five years time and latex gum material is obtained from the roots and rhizomes of the plants. The roots of the plants are exposed to the surface by cutting the plants very close to the roots which then secrets a milky juice from the cut area. This substance hardens when exposed to air and is extracted. Another slice of the root is cut to extract more gum resin. March and April are the best months for harvesting the crop.

  1. Packing of produce after Hing Farming:

The Marketing is most important part of Hing farming. As it is an aromatic material so the product should not be let loose and possibly packed immediately. Air tight containers are used to store this strong aromatic substance.

CONCLUSION:

The Hing is known as the most important ingredient used in cuisines and medical practices but, there is another little known fact about Hing that is also serves as a pest repellent. Experiments have been done on farmlands in Tamilnadu to indicate the efficiency of the substance as a pest repellent. When an acre of land is irrigated with diluted Asafoetida in the water, it is observed to protect the crops from pests and help in crop growth.

Read Mustard Farming.

Read Growing Turmeric.

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