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Other Field Crops



Hing Asafoetida

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.

Priority problems for hing include lack of domesticated varieties. 

Priority opportunities for hing are agricultural intensification, including investment in crop establishment, cultivar research, and extension services for farmers.

Improved Agricultural Techniques and Natural Resource Management Course Module: Hing Manual Dari (1.2 MB) (People in Need)

Pigeon Pea       

Pigeon Pea from Web 2
Pigeon Pea Pods
Pigeon pea (and sunn hemp) - while not major crops - are grown around the country for use as windbreaks and/or as a living fence to help prevent animals moving between fields. It is also recognized as a drought-tolerant green manure, provides weed control, and is used as firewood in tandoor ovens.

Pigeon Pea, known as harhar (Pashto), is most commonly found in the eastern provinces (Nangharhar, Laghman, Kunar, etc.) and northern (Balkh, Kunduz, Tahar) provinces.  

Priority problems include lack of recognition of its nutritional value for humans and livestock.

Priority opportunities include increased awareness of nutritional value and greater awareness in other parts of the country of its benefits as a windbreak, living fence, green manure source, and weed control mechanism.

These draft problems and opportunities are based on feedback from Najmudin Rohid (AAEP Kabul).

Soybean Pods


Soybean has not been traditionally grown in Afghanistan, but has become increasingly popular since 2010 as a result of major pushes from foreign NGOs and grower's associations, which have worked to create export markets and supply necessary inputs.  Sustained access to necessary inputs, particularly machinery, is currently the major limitation for soybean production in Afghanistan.  Soybean is a healthy, low-cost, and easily preserved source of protein, making it a good alternative to meats in diversifying family diets.   

Priority problems and opportunities for soybean are not yet confirmed.
  • Best Management Practices for Soybean Production in South Dakota (northern USA) Manual (iGrow Soybeans)
  • Soybean Production Manual English (excerpt) and Dari (3.3 MB) (NEI Foundation)

Sunn Hemp      

Sunn Hemp
Sunn Hemp CATR U Hawaii
Sunn Hemp (and pigeon pea) - while not major crops - are grown around the country for use as windbreaks and/or as a living fence to help prevent animals moving between fields. Sunn Hemp is also used for green manure, as well as fodder for goats and camels. Its bitter flavor deters most other livestock.  It grows in warm climates (eastern provinces, such as Nangharhar) and is a good source of oil.

Priority Problems for sunn hemp are not yet confirmed.

Primary Opportunities include increased awareness of sunn hemp as an oil source.

These draft priority problems are based on feedback from Najmudin Rohid (AAEP Kabul).