The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Farmers grow hing in Kunduz, Badakhshan

KUNDUZ/FAIZABAD: A number of farmers in the country’s northern provinces of Kunduz and Badakhshan have resorted to the cultivation of asafetida, locally known as hing. They said the hing cultivation had a very profitable product for them than the banned and illegal harvests such as poppy, hashish, etc. They said that hing was a natural herb and those who cultivate it can earn good income compared to other agricultural products. “I cultivated hing on 50 acres of my rain-fed land and cultivated less quantity of wheat, barley and other corns as hing has decent income comparing with them,” said a farmer from Kunduz Mohammad Aref as quoted by one of the private media, Pajhwok Afghan News. He said Hings products are fair compared to wheat, barley and other corn and that it needed little water to grow. Another farmer Ahmadullah said hing has good income and so, he has resorted to its growing on his lands over the years. “It has good income compared to wheat, cotton and even poppy.” According to Shafiqullah a hing businessman who was quoted by the agency, initially, a number of farmers cultivated hing but with the passage of time more farmers started growing it on their lands. He asked the government of the Islamic Emirate to facilitate them by reviving air corridors to European and U.S. markets. According to him, currently, a kilogram of hing was accounted for up to 13,000 Afghani. The provincial Agriculture Director, Mawlavi Amanullah Hassan said that hing was cultivated on thousands of acres of land in recent years and stressed over efforts to support the hing-growing farmers. He said hing required little investment and it was cultivated on agricultural and rain-fed land. “We are in contact with businessmen to negotiate fair deals for hing farmers.” Elsewhere in Badakhshan, Nisar Ahmad Mahir an official of the Agriculture and Irrigation Department of the province said that last year, more than five thousand hectares of land have been cultivated hing or asafetida and most of the farmers in the province are interested in growing the profitable plants instead of poppy. According to him, in 1401, nearly 5,200 hectares of land in Badakhshan province were sown with asafetida seeds, while this year the farmer’s interest is very high. Noor Mohammad, a farmer from Badakhshan province, said he had grown hing on up to 40 acres of his land. “We request the government to give us fertilizer and to make the seedlings a little cheaper. Hing yields high products and has more benefit than poppy,” he said, asking the government for further facilitation in their work. Safdar, another farmer also asked for cooperation from the government and said: “Help us with fertilizer, help us with the labor payment because we have cultivated hing here.” On the other hand, a number of farmers who have started cultivating hing ask the government to support them. Hing is considered one of the most important natural herbal products with significant progress in recent years. Saida Ahmadi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.