It is popularly known as zeera or safaid zeera. Cumin constitutes a principal condiment crop owing to its strong aromatic odour and a spicy taste. It is regarded as one of the oldest spices known since Biblical times. It is used as flavouring compound in variety of culinary preparations. The short duration of growing and high net returns are added attributes behind the preference and popularity of the crops among the farmers.
It can be successfully cultivated on well drained medium to heavy textured soil of average to high fertility. The crop thrives well on deep, friable, medium and well drained soil in mild climate. However, continuous cropping of cumin in the same field is not desirable because of the problem of soil borne diseases particularly wilt.
Light irrigation should be given immediately after sowing followed by another irrigation after 8-10 days. Germination will starts only after second irrigation. The first irrigation should not be heavy; otherwise it results in uneven distribution of plants. However if the day temperature is high with dry spell, a third irrigation may be given after 4-5 days to allow completion of germination. There after the crop should be irrigated at an interval of 20-30 days depending upon the weather condition and soil type.