The Kabul Times.
Economic Social

Nimroz farmers turn to cultivate Asafoetida

By: Shukria Kohistani

Local officials of Nimroz have informed of cultivation of ‘asafoetida’ called hing in the province. According to local officials, cultivation of hing has been promoted by provincial department of agriculture, irrigation and livestock on fields in which poppy had been previously cultivated.
Local officials say farmers in the province have now turned to cultivation of hing as most agricultural fields have been covered with cultivation of the new hing.
Members of Nimroz provincial council believe that following better yield of the herb in the country’s northern provinces, farmers in the province have been seriously interested in cultivation of the herb in the province. They have insisted that the herb can be a good alternative for poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, asking the government to further convince farmers for cultivation of the herb in the country.
Meanwhile, provincial department of agriculture, irrigation and livestock has distributed the ‘hing’ herb to more than 40 farmers in the province. Besides, the department has provided the farmers with some training regarding cultivation of the herb.
A number of farmers have cultivated the ‘hing’ herb on their fields for the past one year. They are optimistic they will get good incomes when they collect yield. Provincial department of agriculture, irrigation and livestock in Nimroz says the ‘hing’ herb has been cultivated in hundreds acres of agricultural fields in Chahar Borjak, Khashrod and keng districts.
“The agricultural, irrigation and livestock department has distributed the agricultural packages of the ‘hing’ herb to more than 40 farmers who have shown interest in cultivation of the herb in their fields,” said Zabihullah Ulyazada, provincial director of agriculture for Nimroz said.
Members of Nimroz provincial council believe that the ‘hing’ herb can be a good alternative for poppy in the province as its syrup is sold in very high price; therefore, its yield will result in economic development of families in the province.
“After farmers in the country’s north have collected good yields of the ‘hing’ herb from their agriculture fields, Nimrozi farmers turned to cultivation of the herb on their fields,” said Asmatullah Sediqi, a member of provincial council for Nimroz.
He expressed happiness that promotion of the ‘hing’ herb can be a good alternative for poppy in the country’s west. Previously, most farmers had cultivated poppy on other agricultural fields.
It is worth mentioning that Asafoetida, or hing, is a perennial herb (genus Ferula) growing wild in the deserts of Afghanistan’s northern provinces. The stem and roots of the Hing plant emit sap that is dried and used as a spice. Currently Hing is collected and sold informally in local markets.
It is a spice crop and said to have antibiotic properties and many health benefits. At some places, medicines are also produced from extracts of asafoetida.

 

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The Kabul Times.