i) Basic and applied research for developing strategies to enhance productivity
and utilization of horticultural crops;
ii) Act as repository of scientific information relevant to horticulture;
iii) Provide training of scientific and technical manpower in horticulture and
iv) To provide consultancy to promote horticulture development.
Today 8 CRIs with 27 Regional Stations, 1 PD and 10 NRCs are operational directly under the administrative control of the Horticulture Division of the ICAR. In addition, 7 multi-disciplinary institutions of ICAR are also engaged in horticultural research.
The ICAR has also launched a good number of network projects named as
All India Co-ordinated Research Projects (AICRPs) on different horticultural
crops. The cardinal feature of the AICRP is its operation on a country
wide basis under the direct supervision andion on a country
wide basis under the direct supervision and technical guidance of the ICAR.
Each co-ordinated project is headed by a Project Co-ordinator (PC) appointed
by the ICAR and under such projects both the CRIs/NRCs of the ICAR and
the State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) work as teams to find solutions
to certain specific problems. Today there are 15 AICRPs on different horticultural
crops, operational at 215 research centres all throughout the country.
In addition, traditional Universities, and other Central organisations
like the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of Biotechnology,
Atomic Energy Research Centre and others also undertake horticultural research
projects in basic/stragetic area such as biotechnology. For finding solutions
to specific and identified problems, ICAR provides funding support to non-ICAR
institutions through large number of time bound ad-hoc projects. International
collaboration and certain foreign aided projects also promoted horticultural
research in cts also promoted horticultural
research in the countries in certain specific areas.
The ICAR is the national body for promoting agricultural education in the country. It aids, promotes and coordinates agricultural education being imparted by the State Agricultural Universities (SAUs). All the 26 SAUs offer graduate and post graduate (master and doctorate) degrees in horticulture. One of the ICAR's own institute, namely, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi also offers P.G. degree in horticulture covering specialisations in fruits, vegetables, floriculture and post harvest technology (PHT) of horticultural crops. The agricultural education system in the country offers degree programmes in agriculture, covering various disciplines including horticulture with a total annual intake of about 10,000 students at the undergraduate level and 4500 students at the post graduate level.
The P.G. programme in 26 State Agricultural Universities and at the IARI, New Delhi provides specialised manpower required for servicing both teaching departments and the research institutions. At masters degree level ssearch institutions. At masters degree level specialised courses in pomology, olericulture, floriculture and PHT are offered, whereas Ph.D. research progrmme is mainly commodity based. The research establishments directly under the control of the ICAR (total 19 institutes) has got a scientific cadre strength of 839, covering horticulture and other related disciplines. The horticulture degree holders constitute 213 out of 839 (25.3%). The teaching and research departments of horticulture in the SAUs have equal or more number of scientists involved in R&D activities.
Institutional support for informal training within the country comes from the following :-
|1. Crop/Commodity Institutes (7)
1. NRCs (10)
1. Project Directorate (1)
1. SAUs (26)
1. Other ICAR Institutions
|Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR), Bangalore;
Central Institute of Sub-tropical Horticulture (CISH), Lucknow; Central
Potato Research Institute (CPRI), Shimla; Central Tuber Crops Research
Institute (CTCRI), Trivandrum; Central Plantation Crops Research Institute
(CPCRI), Kasargod, Kerala; Indian Institute of Spice Research (IISR), Calicut;
Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture (CITice Research (IISR), Calicut;
Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture (CITH), Srinagar.
Citrus, Banana, Grape, Arid Horticulture, Onion and Garlic, Mushroom, Orchid, Oilpalm, Cashew, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants.
Project Directorate for Vegetable Research (PDVR), Varanasi.
With separate Department/ Divisions of Horticulture.
Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI, New Delhi), ICAR Complex for NEH Region, Barapani and Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, ICAR Research Complex, Goa.
Based on the policy directives of the Planning Commission, the working groups set up for different Five Year Plg Commission, the working groups set up for different Five Year Plans (FYPs) determine the principal goals of different research divisions of the ICAR. The research agenda is, therefore, by design relevant to national plans and priorities. Since the Horticulture Division at the ICAR Headquarters has been created only recently during the VIIthe Plan (1985-1990) and major expansions of research infrastructure has taken place thereafter, research programmes in horticulture have been formulated keeping in view the thrust areas in development.
During the VIIIth Plan, (1992-97) major developmental strategies revolved around (i) Increased production (ii) Better post-harvest handling, and (iii) Export promotion of horticultural commodities. The major technology related constraints contributing to low productivity of crops and inferior quality of products identified by the MOA, Government of India are :
i) Large tracts of low and unproductive plantations;
ii) Low productivity of crops due to inferior material and poor management;
iii) Inadequate supply of plant/seed material of genuine quality;
iv) High incidence of pests and diseases;
v) Heavy post harvest losses.
The CRIs and NRCs of ICAR are to undertake basic and applied research of national importance, while regional research is primarily being undertaken by the SAUs. Under the AICRPs, both the ICAR institutions and the SAUs work as teams to find solutions to certain specific probles to find solutions to certain specific problems.
Infrastructure-wise, the CRIs are better equipped to take up crop improvement works and in tackling national problems such as mango malformation, guava wilt, citrus decline, spongy tissue of mango, bunchy top in banana, root wilt in coconut, quick wilt in black pepper, etc. More recently, CRIs are also emphasising biotechnological work on various horticultural crops, including micropropagation through tissue culture techniques. Most of the CRIs have rich germplasm collections of respective commodities and have got strong breeding programmes. Post harvest technological work is receiving greater attention in more recent times, and the institutions are developing research infrastructure for development of new processed products and more efficient post-harvest handling of the commodities to avoid losses.
The SAUs have developed research stations in different agro-ecological
zones of the country and are engaged in development of location specific,
need based production technology for different agro-climatic zones. Development
of horticultural based cropping systems, water and nutrient management,
plant protection schedules and on-farm post harvest management of fruits
and vegetables are some of the areas in which SAU research stations are
better placed. Some of the SAUs are also working in emerging areas like
micro-system of irrigation, integrated pest management and tissue culture
teched pest management and tissue culture
techniques. Post harvest research is not so strong in most of the SAUs.
India has been exporting fresh fruits since several decades. However,
in the more recent past export promotional activities for fresh fruits
received greater attention. The fresh fruits es
received greater attention. The fresh fruits exports which were only 27208
tonnes valued at Rs. 17.4 million in 1983-84 rose to 55400 tonnes valued
Rs. 4367 million during 1994-95. Certain other fruits like pomegranate,
sapota, banana, litchi, apple and strawberry also entered fresh fruit export
market in limited quantities. India not only started exporting grapes but
also produces good quality raisins and wines from grapes.
In India about 30 commercial varieties are grown largely and there is a distinct consumer preference of varieties in different regions. Isozyme studies revealed that north Indian varieties differ genetically from south Indian varieties. Some of the ruling commercial varieties in different regions of India are :
Important Mango varieties for different Regions :
i) Northern India - Dashehari, Langra, Bombay Gre
i) Northern India - Dashehari, Langra, Bombay Green, Chausa, Fazli.
ii) Central India - Langra, Dashehari, Chausa, Safeda and Sunderja.
iii) Western India - Alphonso, Kesar, Mankurad, Vanraj.
iv) Southern India - Banganpalli, Totapuri, Neelam, Pairi, Mulgoa, Kalepad, Rumani.
v) Eastern India - Langra, Kishan Bhog, Zardalu, Fazli, Himsagar, Bombai, Malda.
Systematic mango breeding work started in sixties. Some of the important mango hybrids developed are : Mallika, Amrapali, Ratna, Sindhu, Arka Aruna, Arka Puneet. A mango hybrid, CISH-M-1, developed from a cross of Amrapalli X Janardhan Pasand has been found very promising in yield and for export with medium sized (250 g) attractive (bright yellow with deep red blush) fruits.
A clonal selection from the popular Deshehari having regular bearing habit and 39% higher yield has also been made.
In Banana, 585 indigenous and 32 exotic collections are maintained in field gene bank. In-vitro storage of germplasm under minimal growth conditions have been found feasible in banana. Method of shoot-tip culture or meristem culture, medium for proliferation have been worked out for different clones. More than 120 clones from different groups have been successfully conserved. Incapsulation of meristem has been successful having acceptable in-vitro germination. A triploid hybrid H 135 has been released as CO 1. Iiploid hybrid H 135 has been released as CO 1. It is a pome group of banana with AAB genomic constitution and resembles Virupakshi (AAB), a popular hill banana. Large number of crosses have been made using Agniswar (Pome AAB), Palayankodan (Mysore, AAB), Harichal (AAA), Lacatan (AAA), Mannan (AAB), Nendran (AAB) as female parents and Pisang lillin as male parent. The progenies from the cross Agniswar X Pisang lillin showed superiority for bunch weight ranging from 14-16 kg. This hybrid was found highly promising in the regions where sigatoka leaf spot is a serious problem. It has also showed resistance to Fusarium wilt and burrowing nematode. Gandevi selection, Hanuman or Padarse is popular for heavy bunch weight (55-60 kg). Clonal selection, Grand Naine is popular in some parts of the country.
Out of the different commercial citrus cultivars, area-wise mandarins, sweet orange and acid lime occupy 45%, 30% and 25% respectively. The mandarin wealth of the country comprises of Nagpur mandarin in Central India, Coorg mandarin in South India, Khasi mandarin in northeastern region, Darjeeling mandarin in Sikkim and West Bengal and hybrid Kinnow in north-west region. The traditional critrus fruits i.e., sweet orange and local mandarin in north western region have been replaced by Kinnow, a hybrid of King X Willow Leaf introduced in Punjab in 1 X Willow Leaf introduced in Punjab in 1956, owing to its wider adaptability, responsive to inputs and high economic returns. The high yielding and cluster bearing cultivars viz., Pramalini, Vikram and PKM-1 (Jai Devi) and Sai Sarbati are promising cultivars of acid lime.
In papaya, systematic germplasm collection and evaluation work was carried out since 1965. Studies on more than 100 germplasm lines of papaya showed that papaya exhibits variability in respect of plant height (1 to 2.5 m), plant vigour (dwarf to vigorous), plant colour (purple to whitish green), flower type (staminate to pistillate), fruit shape (long to round), fruit size (5 to 30 cm diameter), fruit weight (0.090-13.0 kg), fruit number (10-80), skin colour (golden yellow to dark green), flesh colour (pale yellow to blood red), taste (bitter to very sweet), flavour (objectionable odour to acceptable). Further progeny row plot trials helped in identifying different desirable parental lines useful for breeding programme. The component characters, viz leaf length, earliness in fruiting, number of nodes to first flowering, single fruit weight and height of plants, were found to be important for expression of genetic diversity.
Till date 15 high-yielding varieties of papaya have been developed in the country, out of which 9 are widely adopted. Some successful hybrids have also been developed and heterosis has also been noticed with a wide rerosis has also been noticed with a wide range of breeding materials. Some of the improved varieties are Coorg Honey Dew, Pusa Dwarf, Pusa Giant, Pusa Delicious and CO series (1-7).
In grapes, most of the present day cultivars are introductions or their derivatives. The native species of India wildly growing in north-western Himalayan foothills resemble Vitis lanata and V.riparia. Three varieties, namely Rangspay, Shoultu White and Shoultu Red grown in Himachal Pradesh are poor in quality. Number of commercial varieties like Anab-e-Shahi, Bangalore Blue, Bhokri, Gulabi, Thompson Seedless, Perlette, Beauty Seedless are exotic in origin. Certain other introductions like Black Champa, Angur Kalan are found to be promising for south Indian condition, whereas certain mutant selections like Tas-A-Ganesh and Sonaka, are becoming more popular in Maharashtra (Western India). A few hybrids viz., Arkavathi, Arka Kanchan, Arka Shyam and Arka Hans have been developed by the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR), Bangalore for multipurporse use. A black seedless hybrid Arka Neelmani, and the 'Sharad Seedless', a selection from Russian variety 'Kishmush Chorni', are promising black varieties for commercial production.
Some of the underutilized crop like
Some of the underutilized crop like Jujube or Ber (Zizyphus mauritiana Lam), Aonla or Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), Bael (Aegle marmelos), custard apple (Annona squamosa), Jamun (Syzygium cumini). Karonda (Carissa carandas), Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) are spread over the entire tropical and sub-tropical belts of the country. Some of these underutilized fruits have good nutritive value and has considerable local demands. Table shows the germplasm availability in India.
TABLE : Germ plasm accessions of underutilised fruits maintained in India.
|Ber (Zizyphus sp.)||
||Umran, Banarsi Karaka, Gola, Seo|
|Aonla (Emblica officinalis)||
||Banarsi, Chakaiya, Krishna, Kanchan, NA-7, NA-8, NA-10.|
|Custard Apple (Annona sp.)||
||Balanagar, Mammoth, Arka, Arka Sahan.|
|Beal (Aegle) marmelos)||
||Kaghji Gonda, NB-5, NB-9<>Aegle) marmelos)||
||Kaghji Gonda, NB-5, NB-9|
|Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus).||
||Gulabi, Hazari, Rudrakshi, Muttam Varikka|
Miscellaneous Fruits :
In pomegranate, the variety Ganesh is most widely grown, particularly in the state of Maharashtra. Certain other selections like Jyoti, G-137, P-23 and P-26 have been found to be promising. Hybrids namely Mridula (Rahuri) and 15-9-94 (IIHR) have better colours and good quality fruits.
In sapota, improvement through clonal selection resulted in identification of varieties naemly CO-2 and PKM-1. Intervarietal hybrid from crossing of Cricket Ball and Oval have resulted superior quality fruits and released as CO-1. So far 7 varieties have been developed utilising the gene pool available in the country.
In datepalm, the variety Halawy is an early maturing type which can grow successfully in marginal arid lands. Other important cultivars are Khuneja, Bahre, Zahidi, Khadrawy and Shamran. Some 20 selections have been made from the Kachh area of Gujarat State.
In fig, varieties namely Poona, Brown Turkey, Shahi, Hindupur, Maisram and Daulatabad have been recommended for commercial cultivation in south India.
Temperate Fruits :
Apple has a spectth India.
Temperate Fruits :
Apple has a spectacular growth in India. It accounts for more than 50 per cent production among all the temperate fruits, which include pome, stone and nut fruits. The North Western Himalayan region of India, comprising of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Himachal Pradesh (H.P.) and western Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) is the major production centre accounting for 95% of the area and 85% of total temperate fruit production. Apple cultivation covers an estimated area of 0.21 million ha with a production of 1.1 million tonnes of fruit.
Coloured varieties of delicious group (Red, Royal, Golden) occupy more than 80% area in Himachal Pradesh and about 44% in J&K and 30% in U.P. In recent years, a shift from delicious varieties to improved spur-types and standard coloured mutants has been observed. Some of the promising spur type varieties are : Red Spur, Star Krimson, Golden Spur, Red Chief and Oregan Spur. The varieties like Skyline Supreme and Vance Delicious are important colour mutants of promise. In J&K, there is a local type variety known as Ambri which has excellent keeping quality and good shape of fruits. This variety has been utilised in breeding programme extensively, a result of which a few hybrids namely, Lal Ambri (Red Delicious X Ambri) and Sunehari (Ambri X Golden Delicious) were released. Entire package of practices for apple has been developed and apple marketing has been well organised apple marketing has been well organised through establishment of HP Horticulture Processing and Marketing Corporation Limited (HPMC). Apple is now available throughout the country and RTS apple juice has become a popular drink.
Other temperate fruits like peach, plum, apricot, almond and walnuts are grown to limited extent. India exports walnut in large quatity and apple in a limited quantity.
The biotechnological research for crop improvement in different fruit crops is still in the early stage of development in India. The cropwise positions are as follows :
a. MANGO :
Repetitive and proliferative somatic embryogenesis has been achieved using nucellar explants in monoembryonic varieties. High frequency somatic embryogenesis from necellus tissue of monoembryonic mango variety Arka Anmol has been achieved. Media composition for the conversion of embryogenic callus cells to embryos, their development, maturation and germination leading to the formation of complete plantlets has been worked out.
Suspension cultures have been raised from nucellar callus in mango hybrid of Amrapali to maximise production of somatic embryos. Direct plantlet regeneration was induced from higher embryos and somatic embryogenesis was induced in immature zygotic embryos of certain mango cultivars.
b. BANANA :
Clonal multiplication has been achieved using rhizome tip as starter culture been achieved using rhizome tip as starter culture of 36 clones of banana from different parts of the country. Micropropagation in banana has gone commercial. Elite clones of banana cultivar Robusta developed through micropropagation for their higher yield. Hybrid embryos from a cross between Musa accuminata and M. balbasiana were cultured to yield single embryo clones which have been transplanted into soil. Hybrid embryos were also rescued from other difficult crosses of banana.
c. CITRUS :
Multiple shoot induction and rooting have been achieved in shoot tips derived from field-grown matured acid lime plants. Hybrid embryos from a cross involving 'Seedless lime' and 'Acid lime' were cultured in vitro and fully developed plantlets were obtained. Further augmentation of the hybrid plant material has been effected through single node culture and in vitro layering.
d. GRAPES :
Stenospermocarpic ovules excised from crosses involoving seedless parents and open-pollinaed ovules from seedless hybrids were cultured at 30-60 days post pollination. Embryos were excised from these ovules 8 weeks upon culture and returned to the same medium. A small percentage of the embryos put forth callus.
e. PINEAPPLE :
Seeds containing hybrid embryos of pineapple (Kew X Queen) were cultured on nutrient media. A fast growing callus mass was induced from the embryos which evecallus mass was induced from the embryos which eventually differentiated into shoot buds. Fully developed plantlets so derived were successfully grown to maturity in pots.
Micropropagation protocols for apple, grapes, pineapple, papaya, strawberry
are available in the country. Shoot-tip grafting technique in citrus has
been considerably advanced.
In citrus, major insect pests are : Citrus blackfly and Psylla
in Nagpur mandarin; scales and mealy bugs in Coorg mandarin and trunk borer
in Khasi mandarins. Chemical control measures suggested to control major
pests. Mass multiplication techniques of Mallada bonineusis, the
predator of soft-body insects including blackfly and psylla and biocontrol
of citrus mealybug standardised. Phytophthora rot is the major disease
in citrus and biological control through Trichoderma isolates has
been advanced with considerable success. Both for citrus (mandarin
orange) and mango preharvest spray schedules to control post harvest diseases
have been standardised. For mango, three preharvest sprays of Bavistin
(0.1%) or Topsin-M (0.1%) at 15 days interval, last spray 15 days prior
to harvest, have been suggested. Studies on pesticide residues have resulted
in working out safe-waiting periods for harvesting and consumption of most
of the fruits.
For export promotion and value addition, varietal screening work has
been intensified in more recent years. Mango hybrids Ratna and Sindhu
are well suited for canned slices and pulp making. Arka Puneet and
Arka Anmol varieties of mango are also suitable for preparation
of canned mango juice. Two varieties of grape Arka Soma and ArkaTrishna
are suitable for production of good quality wine, while Arkavathi
is good for raisin making.
Mango production has improved substantially in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, whereas citrus has become highly remunerative recording a 47 per cent price increase in mandarins and 32 per cent increase in sweet orange between 1989-90 and 1992-93. Maharashtra ranked first, covering 19.6 per cent of total citrus area. Three districts in that state - Nagpur, Amravati and Wardha of Vidarbha - have over 14 million trees of citrus.
Papaya, sapota, pomegranate, ber and aonla have registered growth both in area and production in recent years. In papaya, area expansion was high in the South, whereas ber and pomegranate were successful in Western Maharashtra. India tops the world in sapota production and high productivity has been achieved in Karnataka (17.2 t/ha), followed by Maharashtra (16t/ha).
In temperate fruits, apple alone accounts for more than 50 per cent of the total production, while the North-Western Himalayan region (J&K, H.P. and hills of Uttar Pradesh) covers 95 per cent of total area and 85 per cent of the total production of all temperate fruits.
Mango, grapes and walnut are exported in large quantities and pomegranate, sapota, banana, litchi, apple and strawbernate, sapota, banana, litchi, apple and strawberry in limited quantities. Mango pulp is important among the processed fruit products exported.
Transfer of technology in horticulture is extremely important. Taking into account the fact that all the districts of the country have been brought under a computerised information network and at every district headquarters computers are now available for transfer of technoloy "expert systems" with information on recommended production technology have been developed. A computer information system giving recommended guidelines in all aspects of cultivation of 158 horticultural crops (including plantation crops, spices and tuber crops) has been developed and released recently. This system covers recommended package of practices for each crop for the southern indian states like Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
In order to make India competitive in the international trade., efforts are now directed towards developing better cultivars with desirable quality attributes. Initial varietal screening works for identifying suitable types for processing has aleady been done. Similarly, pre-harvest treatments and post-harvest handling covering pre-cooling, packing etc. have also been standardised for a good number of crops. Package lines covering all operations for bulk handling, sorting, washing, waxing, sizing and packing of fruits like mango, citrus, grapes are now available for commercirus, grapes are now available for commercial adaptation. A suitable methods of sea transportation of mango and banana have been developed and successfully ventured for export. All these marketing technologies are helping better marketting.
The emphasis on infrastructure development for marketing of perishable horticultural commodities during the last plan has started paying dividents. Fruit growing is now considered as a economically viable alternative in Indian agriculture. Horticulture is slowly moving from traditional agricultural enterprise to corporate sector. Greater adoption of technology and professionalism in management are growing.
Data base in horticulture is quite weak. Strenghening of data base in
horticulture with respect to the area, production and productivity of different
fruit crops is an equally important thrust area. The cost benefit analysis
for commercial scale cultivation of all the main fruit crops has already
been worked out and market intelligence both for domestic and international
market is being systemised in more recent times.
India exports considerable quantity of onion and potato and limited quantity of certain vegetables like okra, brinjal, tomato, chillies. There has been steady increase in export of onion from Rs. 53.4 million during 1974-75 to Rs. 2440 million in 1993-94. During the last 10 years, the area under onion has increased by 34%, while production increase was by 54%.
India has made tremendous increase in potato production due to release
of large number of high yielding varieties and development of improved
cultivation practices for different agro-climatic regions of the country.
During 1995-96 potato was grown in about 1.1 million ha with a total production
of about 19.2 million tonnes at an average yield of 16.9 t/ha. The crop
has recorded annual compound growth rate of 5.28, 10.16 and 4.60 per cent
of area, production and yield during 1969-70 to 1978-79.
For different parts of the country large number of improved vegetable varieties have been recommended. In addition to yield increase, many of these improved varieties are resistant to different diseases and insect pests. In tomato, cold set (Pusa Sheetal), hot set (Pusa Hybrid-1) and bacterial wilt resistant varieties have enabled to grow tomato successfully in many nontraditional areas. In brinjal, Pusa Purple Long is popular all over the country, while pea var popular all over the country, while pea variety Arkel has simply revolutionised production of early pea. In watermelon, Sugar Baby in northern states and Arka Manik in southern states are ruling commercial varieties.
Some of the areas where impacts are felt have been indicated below :
a. Hybrid seed production has become easier through development of self
incompatible lines in cauliflower and gynoecious lines in cucumber and
muskmelon. Genetic male sterile lines are now available in tomato.
b. Identification of N-53 variety of onion and development of technology for kharif onion has enabled to get two crops of onion annually in northern India.
c. 'Pusa Early Sunthetic' cauliflower made it possible to grow cauliflower even in warmer South India. Cauliflower is now grown in non-traditional Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka States.
d. Multiple disease resistant 'Arka Manik' watermelon has saturated southern states.
e. Radish and tomato can now be grown all the year round due to availability of suitable varieties.
f. It is estimated that more than about 10,000 ha is covered by F1 hybrids of tomato and cabbage in southern states.
g. India has achieved self sufficiency in seeds of temperate vegetables and started exporting.
During the last 4 decades nearly 33 varieties in onion and 11 varieties in garlic have been developed and released. Some of the improved hybridsveloped and released. Some of the improved hybrids and varieties developed are Arka Lalima, Arka Kirtiman, Arka Pitamber, Pusa Safed, Pusa Red, Pusa Madhavi, Pusa Ratnar, Pusa White Round, Pusa White Flat, Arka Niketan, Arka Kalyan Red Round, Punjab Selection, Punjab Red Round, CO-4.
The potato improvement programmme gained sound footing with the development of disease free breeding material in the plains. Since 1958, a total of 29 high yielding varieties have been released for different agroclimatic situations in the country, Several of these varieties possess resistance to diseases like late blight and wart, and pests like cyst nematodes, and tolerance to viruses. Out of the released cultivars, however, only eleven, viz., Kufri Jyoti, Kufri Lalima, Kufri Badshah, Kufri Bahar, Kufri Chandramukhi, Kufri Sindhuri, Kufri Lauvkar, Gulmarh Special and recently released ones Kufri Ashoka, Kufri Jawahar, Kufri Megha and Kufri Swarna are being produced, respectively at Shillong (North Eastern hills) and Ootacamund (south Indian hills) to meet the local requirements. Kufri Kanchan - a wart immune and late blight resistant culture is likely to be released for Darjeeling hills where wart and late blight are limiting factors.
The high seed cost, the problems of transport and virus infiltration in seed tubers leading to degeneration of seed stocks, have led to the utilization f seed stocks, have led to the utilization of true potato seed (TPS) technology.
Research efforts in the area of biotechnology for vegetable improvement are comparatively new. Some of research highlights are:
i) Protoplasts have been isolated and purified from the leaf mesophyll
tissues of capsicum and tomato using linear gradient of percoll. The protoplasts
will serve as effective tools for genetic transformations.
ii) Synchronisation of cell division in cultures derived from phloem explants of carrot has been achieved by blocking the dividing cells in the G 1/S phase by aphidicolin.
iii) Anthers of capsicum cv. Arka Gaurav and tomato F1 hybrid Avinash-2 responded to culture with an embryogenic like response without an intervening callus phase.
iv) Triploid progenies from immature fruits/seeds of 4n X 2n crosses of watermelon could be salvaged through embryo culture.
v) Micropropagation of triploid watermelon through induction of multiple shoots from seedling tips has been achieved : In vitro propagation of tratraploid and diploid parental lines of watermelon to facilitate large scale production of 3n watermelon seeds is being carried out.
vi) In potato, the technique for transfer of genes through Agrobacterium strain C58-PB1121 has been standardized and production of transgenic plants has been confirmed by the GUS assay. Genetic engineering targets to introduce CP genetic engineering targets to introduce CP gene (for virus resistance) and BT gene (for insect resistance potato) have been set by the Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI), India.
In potato, a new technique known as 'seed plot technique' which makes
use of low aphid population periods for growing disease-free seedstocon periods for growing disease-free seedstocks
of potato, has brought revolution in production of potato seed tubers in
north Indian plains. The Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI) of India
caters to the need of total breeder-seed requirements of potato of the
entire country and is producing about 2500 tonnes every year. The 'True
Potato Seed' (TPS) technology has been standardised as an alternative and
TPS lines are in cultivation with a yield potential of about 30 t/ha. In
onion, also seed production technology has been standardised.
India has the potential of becoming major exporter of both ware and seed potatoes. There is a great potential of exporting processed potato also. It is estimated that presently only 0.5% of the potato production of the country is processed.
The potato productivity in India (1.80/ha/day) is better than that of Western Europe (1.56 q/ha). Certain Indian states like Gujarat and West Bengal with 2.73 q/ha/day and 2.56 q/ha/day compare well with Netherlands with average productivity of 2.51 q/ha/day. More than 80% of Indian potato is grown in the winter months when there is no potato crop in the Western temperate countries. India, therefore,is favourably placed so far potato production and marketing is concerned.
Intensive research and entry of many corporate firms in vegetable seed business has contributed to the growth of vegetable industry tremendously. Vegetable seed business is another area ly. Vegetable seed business is another area where India may do well. Study made by Agro-Economic Research Centres in selected towns and cities show that rate of consumption of fruits and vegetables in the country are on the rise. Also, in vegetables alone demand for processing and export is approximately 4 million tonnes. Without discounting post harvest loss total demand of about 130 million tonnes of vegetables has been projected for the country for the year 2002, showing ample scope of vegetable farming in the country.
Traditional flowers like marigold, jasmine, aster, rose, chrysanthemum, crossandra etc. are grown in more than two third area under flowers, while modern day cut flowers with stems e.g. rose, carnation, gladiolus, tuberose, orchids etc. occupy rest of the area.
The domestic flower market is not well organised. A market survestic flower market is not well organised. A market survey conducted
in 1988-89 indicated flower trade worth Rs. 2050 million, while a recent
survery for Delhi market alone indicated a trade around Rs. 500 million.
In addition to cutflower use, ornamental plants are now increasingly in
demand for interior decoration and landscape use. Flower seed production
and multiplication of planting materials are also in the increase. Several
flower seed producing companies have set up production facilities in India
for targetting domestic as well as export markets. Some of these companies
took up custom production of specific varieties for their clients abroad.
More than 30 commercial micropropagation units with production capacity
exceeding 40 million plants have been set up. Flowers and ornamental crops
are the major product range in these units. Tissue culture raised plants
of carnation and gerbera already gained popularity with flower growers.
Production of bulbs/tubers of crops like gladiolus, lilliums, tulips, liatrice
is also picking up fast.
In the recent past a good number of export oriented floriculture units
have been established in the country. By December 1996, more than 200 such
units have been approved to be set up, which include 157 units with foreign
collaboration and direct foreign investment. The total investment in this
sector is approximately Rs. 1000 million. The flowers exported from these
units are receiving consumers acrom these
units are receiving consumers acceptance for high quality. A good number
of such export oriented units with greenhouse production have been set
up in clusters around Pune (Maharashtra State), Bangalore (Karnataka State),
Delhi State and Hybderabad (Andha Pradesh State). Ornamental foliage plants
of decorative value are also been exported in sizable quantity. The natural
extracts of certain flowers have good demand and concretes of jasmine,
tuberose and rose are produced. Dry flowers and plants trade is a comparatively
new venture in India and is gaining popularity. Presently, most of the
dry products are exported to Germany, USA, Netherlands, U.K., Italy and
Japan. Such products constitute nearly 60 percent of Indias exports of
floriculture products at present.
In more recent years, rose varieties namely Benjamin Pal, Nurjahan, Raktagandha, 'Banjaran', Sindhoor, Chrysanthemum varieties Ajay, Sonali, Swarna, Ravi Kiran, Akash, Yellow Start, Chandrakand and gladiolusAkash, Yellow Start, Chandrakand and gladiolus varieties, Kumkum, Rangoli, Darshan, Tambi and Rim Jhim were released for cultivation. Rose rootstock Rosa indica var. odorata is now widely used. In rose, most of the varieties released fall under Hybrid Tea and Floribunda groups. There is a dearth of climbing varieties.
Three chrysanthemum mutants gave higher yields. Gladiolus hybrid 77-59-32 with large spike and many florets per spike was developed for export of cut flowers. In gladiolus, new triploid hybrids have been developed and open pollinated (O.P) selections are doing well. New IARI (New Delhi) varieties of gladiolus, bougainvillea, hollyhock and coreopsis have become popular in many parts of the country. Gladiolus varieties Mayur, Suchitra and Pusa Suhagan have become popular in Northern India. The O.P. selections namely, Jwala, Gazal and Priyadarshini are also gaining popularity.
For South Indian conditions, good number of varieties of different ornamental crops have been released by the IIHR, Bangalore. Some of the important ones are :
Three varieties of J. auriculatum and 2 varieties of J. grandiforum
have been released. A high yielding clonal selection, namely Surabhi
has been released recently. In tuberose, Rajat Rekha and Swarna
Rekha are gamma ray induced mutants. In marigold, F1 hybrids
are highly floriferous.
Research on various other methods of propagation has resulted high percentage
of rooting in about 300 species. Also promising rootstocks in case of crop
like rose have been identified. Rosa indica var. odorata
performed well under Delhi condition. Seeds of annual and seasonal flowers
are produced in the country by various seed companies and indegenous seed
production is considerable. India exports flower seeds of Gaillardia, Zinnia,
Chrysanthemum annual, Cosmos, Helichrysum, Candytuft, Mirabilis and a few
other in substantial quantity. F1 Hybrid seeds of Petunia has
been exported since 1967 and there is good scope to produce hybrid seeds
of Antirrhinum, Geranium, Impatiens and Marigold. In hill stations of India,
namely Srinagar, Darjeeling, Sikkim and Kalingpong good quality bulbs of
gladiolus, and lillies are produced. In gladioli alone about 4.5 to 5 million
bulbs are produced annually in Darjeeling hills and Sikkim in the eastern
In jasmine, for maximum yield of flowers and high recovery of essential oil, a planting distance of 1.8 X 1.8 m and pruning plants at 90 cm height are essential. Also, the plants must receive 100 g N, 150 g P2O5 and 100 g K2O/plant each year. In tuberose, preplanting treatments of bulbs with GA3 increased rachis length, while in marigold spraying of cycocel on transplanted plants resulted better flowering.
Green house cultivation of flowers, particularly roses, has increased
considerably in more recent years. Most of these green house units are
growing roses for export with foreign technology. Major foreign collaborations
are with Holland and Israel. Greenhouse production has brought in uses
of drips, micro sprinklers and other advanced irrigation systems. Liquid
fertilizers and newer plant protection chemicals are also being used increasingly.
Indegenous technology for greenhouse production is lacking and only limited
information of greenhouse cultivation of chrysanthemum, gladiolus and Sini
carnation have been reported. Successful growing of roses in north India
under modified environment using plastic cover during winter months (November-February)
has also been reported.
Pre-cooling flowers to optimal storage temperature is important for longer storing of flowers. In tube rose cool storage of florets, both in packed and unpacked forms, helped in maintaining freshness and white colour for longer period. Packaging of Jasminum sambac flowers in 200 gauge polyethylene bags without ventilation maintained freshness, retained white colour and helped in prolonging shelf-life by 3 days. Roped in prolonging shelf-life by 3 days. Roses could be stored dry upto a maximum period of 2 weeks at a storage temperature of 0.5 to 3o C.
For several ornamental species, dehydration techniques of fresh flowers,
retaining their shape and natural colour have been standardised.
The demand for flower extracts for perfume trade is growing. The natural concretes of jasmine, tuberose and rose are produced in large quantity. Although little innovations have come in processing proc little innovations have come in processing procedures in designing of steam distillation plants, significant changes have taken place. Out of the total global production of about 10 tonnes of jasmine concrete in 1990, India's share was approximately 2.4 tonnes. The flowers of an improved jasmine variety namely Pitchi yield 0.29 percent recovery of concrete in laboratory scale testing and 0.25 percent in commercial production. Another improved variety Arka Surabhi yields about 0.35 per cent concrete.
In rose, R. damascena (damisk rose) produce high grade concrete,
whereas R. Centiflolia and R. borboniana are utilised for
production of rose water and gulkand industry. The quality of concrete
from new rose variety Noorjehan is claimed to be superior, which
has 53 per cent rhodinol (licitronellol) against 45.7 per cent in damisk
rose oil. Laboratory scale distillation apparatus with double cooling system
to ensure complete condensation of vapours has been developed and patented.
The floral concretes of many other flowers are expected to be available
in near future. The flowers of Champaka (Michalia champaca) yield
0.06 per cent volatile oil on steam distillation and produces 0.26 per
cent of concrete through solvent extraction. The concrete has phynylmethol
alcohol, benzaldehyde and methyl anthrainlate as major aroma component.
Floral extracts are likely to be important items for future and thly to be important items for future and this sector
has considerable potential, both for domestic and export market. Dry flowers
and plants are also comparatively new products of good potential. Some
commercial units for production of value added products like collages and
flower pictures, flower balls, cards and covers, pomanders, festive decorations
sweet smelling pot-pouries etc. have been established both in eastern and
Certain crops like mints, French jasmine, Java citronella and hops introduced in late forties to early fifties have now become successful commercial crops. They are largely used in flourishing chemical industries entering export trade. Aromatic plants like Palmarosa-oil grass, French basil, asgandh and vetiver are now well established commercially. India has done fairly well in export of psyllium husk and seed, mint oil, menthol, jasmine concrete and neam oil.
A very large number of native species available in Indian forests have been used for a long time for their medicinal properties. It is reported that over 2000 native plant species have curative properties and about 1300 species are known for their aroma and flavour. The Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM) locally known as Ayurved, Unani and Siddha drugs are of great demand in the country-side and it is estimated that such plant based drugs worth Rs.8000 million are produced annually under the ISM. There is already a spurt in demand of plant based drugs and lately many such native species of medicinal values are being brought under systematic cultivation.
Research in medicinal and aromatic crops are mainly carried out by the
Indian Council of Agriinly carried out by the
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Central Institute
of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) of the Council of Industrial and
Scientific Research (CSIR), both public funded research organisations.
The ICAR through its All India Coordinated Research Project on Medicinal
Plants (begun in 1972) is carrying out an integrated multidisciplinary
research at 9 centres on 12 mandatory crops : psyllium, senna, opium poppy,
periwinkle, liquorice, asgandh, jasmine, palmarosa, lemongrass, vetiver,
geranium and patchonli. In addition, performance testing of a good number
of exotic crops and domestication of certain native species are also in
the research agenda of ICAR. Research on crops like Solanum viarum Rauvolfia
serpentina, Dioscorea floribunda, Mentha arvensis, M. spicata,
basil, lavender, henbare and others have also been conducted by various
agencies. The CIMAP (CSIR) is working on the industrial utilization of
medicinal and aromatic plants.
The research system in the country is now fully geared to provide necessary technological support to the expanding horticulture industry of the country. Our production of fruits and vegetables had tripled over the last 50 years and with proper R&D support it should be possible to meet the needs of domestic as well as the export markets in next 5 years.
Plan expenditure on horticultural crops started in the fourth plan (1970-75) with a modest allocation of Rs. 34.78 million which was enhanced to Rs.319.56 million in the seventh plan (1975-80) and to Rs.1,047 million in the eighth plan (1992-97). The increase in investment from the seventh to eighth plan is about 213%. Rapid expansion in research infrastructure has been witnessed in the seventh and eighth plan. The R&D set up in horticulture has expanded quite rapidly through the establishment of SAUs, State Department of Horticulture, CRIs and NRCs of the ICAR, strengthening of Coordinated project system and cess fund adhoc projects. Private investment in R&D has also been experienced increasingly in the more recent past.
Currently, there are seven research programmes under operation of the Horticulture Division of the ICAR. The percentage increase in budgetary provision under each of the programme during VIII Plan over the expenditure of VII Plan is as follows :
Fruits - 373%, vegetables - 500%, Root & Tuber crops - 240%, Plantation Crops - 273%, Spices - 400%, Floriculture, Medicinal & Aromatic Plants - 406%, Post-Harvest Technology - 400%.
The research budgets of 12 Institutes of the Horticulture Division of the ICAR for the year 1995 have been shown in Table.1. It may be seen that out of the total annual budget of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research 8.70 per cent was spent for implementation of horticulture research programme. The ratio of scientific, technical and administrative manpower works out approximately as 1:1.23:0.70, meaning thereby that the research scientists get reasonably good support from technical and administrative staff. Out of the 12 institutions, only 4 of them received external funding, ranging from 7.98 to 13.0 percent of their internal research budget.
The research output per scientist in terms of research publications has been shown in Table.2. Although the old and established institutes (CPRI, Shimla; IIHR, Bangalore) have more number of research publications, per scientist basis output is much better in smaller and new institutes (NRC for Mushroom, Sller and new institutes (NRC for Mushroom, Solan; IISR, Calicut; PDVR, Varanasi). The mandate crops of IISR, Calicut are spice crops, (both perennial and seasonal) whereas the PDVR, Varanasi deals with seasonal vegetable crops. Institutes dealing with perennial fruit crops like CISH, Lucknow (mango) and NRC for Arid Horticulture (arid fruits) have got much less share of research publications to their credit, while new (2yrs old) institute like NRC for Medicinal & Aromatic Plants could not open their account so far.
Commoditywise, vegetable crops enjoy maximum scientific manpower and budgetary support (Table.3). Vegetable Crops being mostly seasonal, research achievements and the transfer of technology are much faster in comparison to the perennial tree crops. As indicated earlier, in the last 3 decades India made quantum jump in vegetable production from 28.36 million in 1967-71 to 68.7 millions in 1994-95. The technology generated in the vegetable crops have gone to a large extent to the farmers resulting to such spectacular increase in production.
Pay offs from the public sector expenditure in agricultural research
in India is considered to be quite high, although public sector investment
in agriculture research had all along been very average, if not low. Horticulture
research is no exception and investment in horticulture research has paid
good dividents. The fall in capital spending and decline in advance training
of reding and decline in advance training
of researchers will hamper the efficiency of the research system greatly.
Modernisation and diversification needs of Indian horticulture should essentially
be addressed by the Indian NARS. Private Sector partnership will be essential
for diversification, value addition and exports to make horticulture more
profitable in the coming years. Private Sector investment in terms of contract
research, collaborative research, consultancy and other forms may be needed
for establishing demand driven relationships with organised commercial
sectors. Public funded research system will, however, have to continue
to provide quality research inputs to the large, unorganised, small holder
farm sectors to improve the productivity and quality of horticultural commodities
in years to come.
Keeping the above strategy in view, the following thrust areas of research identified for the 9th Plan Period (1997-2002).