●Production of Saffron and Heeng (asafoetida) in India
•Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (CSIR-IHBT) and the Government of Himachal Pradesh, have jointly decided to increase the production of these two spices
•The introduction of IHBT developed crops of heeng and saffron is expected to reduce the import of these spices
1. Saffron Production in India:
•In India, the annual demand for Saffron spice is 100 tons per year but its average production is about 6-7 tons per year. (Hence a large amount of Saffron is being imported.)
•Recently, the Kashmir saffron got Geographical Indication (GI) tag status.
2. No production of heeng in India
•There is no production of heeng in India and currently about 1200 tons of raw heeng worth Rs 600 crore is being imported from Afghanistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan.
•Heeng is a perennial plant and it produces resin from the roots after five years of plantation