Asafetida as pesticide!

Did you know that asafetida (hing) is used as an alternative to chemical pesticide?

Every time Kaushal, my friend  of over two decades now, leaves for Hathras he calls me up asking, “Comrade hing Chaiye kya?”

And I end up saying, “Jaroor?” Because the stuff he brings is pure and not diluted as the reputed brands in the market.

It happens so that Kaushal’s wife is from Hathras. Every time he visits Hathras or someone comes visiting him from Hathras hing (asafetida) comes along. Hathras, now a full fledged district of Uttar Pradesh is traditionally famous for its hing and ghee.

Yesterday Kaushal again called up asking, “Comrade Hing chaiye kya?”

I did say yes but then probed him further asking whether he was visiting his in-laws. He jokingly said, “Arrey dahej mein hing hi mila, kya karoon?”

Is it true, I asked, that hing is used as a pesticide?

“Arrey hing ki khali bori hazar rupaiye mein bikte hain,” he answered.

The jute bags which are used to carry hing are sold for Rs 1000 each and the farmers place the bag at the source of the water for days together. Those who have been using this technique no more use chemical pesticides and are assured of a bountiful crop. Having come to know of this I asked Kaushal, “Bring me a discarded bag instead.”


6 thoughts on “Asafetida as pesticide!

  1. Sudarshan Srinivas

    Very interesting. Must learn more about this – the qualities of Hing and also the method of application. Though I have always had a doubt about pesticides – in the context of organic agriculture – I mean if organic agriculture is a holistic approach and has spaces for all beings including insects and pests then we need to focus on strategies of how to optimise production in cohabitation with all “pests” just like some would look at weeds as an opportunity -o f providing mulching, biomass etc.
    Am not sure though what is the trade off when the livelihood of a small farmer is involved.
    What ever else, this post has got me resolved to know more on this.

      1. hiraman

        All depends what methods you use for irrigation. Mine is a comparatively a small plot. I tie a pouch with hing crystals inside on the mouth of the hosepipe. You could do the same.

  2. madan

    Hing is also a very good starter for plants which are delayed in flowering. if any of your plants are tardy in giving out flowers bury a piece of Hing about 9 inches away from the stem and see what happens.

  3. Hello Everyone,

    My name is Ankit Bansal. I’m from Hathras. My family has been involved in hing manufacturing for past 65 years. My grandfather started this business when he had direct contact with Afghani pathans, they use to bring raw hing in sack made out of cattle’s skin. Now lot of things have changed since then. We are one of the leading importers and manufacturers in the country. Now the raw hing comes in plastic drums. You may contact me in case you want some good quality and pure hing.
    our website is My number 09837088876

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