After reading this article you will learn about the history of vegetable breeding research in India.
1940 – Successful attempt of seed production of temperate vegetables at Quetta (now in Pakistan).
1947 – Sanctioning of a nucleus ‘Plant Introduction Scheme’ at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.
1949 – Establishment of a vegetable breeding station at Katrain in Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh for production of seed of temperate vegetables.
1955 – Transfer of vegetable breeding station, Katrain to Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi to undertake research on temperate vegetable crops, standardization of seed production technology and to produce seeds of improved varieties of temperate vegetable crops.
1956 – Creation of Division of Horticulture at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.
1960 – Start of establishment of State Agricultural Universities (SAU’s) where the G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, formerly known as the Uttar Pradesh Agricultural University (UPAU), Pantnagar was the first agricultural university to be established on Land grant pattern in 1960.
The establishment of state agricultural universities on the pattern of land grant colleges/universities of the United States of America having full-fledged and separate departments of Horticulture and/or Vegetable Science started from 1960 onwards. These developments have given thrust to vegetable research.
Thirty seven state agricultural universities plus, one central university on agriculture excluding 6 on veterinary/animal science/fisheries are engaged in the conduct of research on vegetable improvement. In the past, the vegetable improvement programmes were located in the combined departments of Horticulture.
However, lately there has been a shift towards the creation of separate and independent departments of Vegetable Science after the bifurcation/trifurcation of the existing departments of Horticulture to carry out vegetable breeding and production research and teaching work more efficiently and with greater focus.
Besides these 37 states agricultural universities conducting researches on vegetable improvement, a central university on Agriculture with Headquarters at Imphal. Manipur came into existence in 1993. This university has various colleges including a College of Horticulture with a separate department of Vegetable Science at Pashighat in Arunachal Pradesh.
1967 – Establishment of Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bangalore with strong focus on vegetable improvement among other things.
1971 – Initiation of all India coordinated vegetable improvement project (AICVIP) with Headquarters at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, headed by a Project Coordinator, Dr. Vishnu Swarup being the first one who joined the project in 1971.
1984 – Recommendation by quin-quennial review team (QRT) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research to upgrade the all India coordinated vegetable improvement project at the level of Project Directorate of Vegetable Research (PDVR).
1986 – Start of Project Directorate of Vegetable Research during the seventh five year plan by upgrading the erstwhile all India coordinated vegetable improvement project, with Headquarters at IARI, New Delhi.
1991 – Joining of PDVR by the first Project Director (Dr. G. Kalloo).
1992 – Shifting of the Headquarters of PDVR from New Delhi to Varanasi.
1994 – Initiation of all India coordinated National Seed Project (NSP) for production of breeder seed of vegetable crops. Establishment of National Research Centre for Onion and Garlic at Nasik.
1995 – Initiation of ICAR research network on promotion of hybrid research in vegetable crops (ad-hoc project) for 3 years.
1998 – Shifting of NRC-Onion and Garlic from Nasik to Rajgurunagar, Pune. Approval of National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) by Govt. of India.
1999 – Renaming of PDVR as Indian Institute of Vegetable Research.
2009 – Upgradation of NRC-Onion and Garlic to Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research.