From Director's Desk

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Dr. S.Rajan

Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture Institute with a unique distinction of working on the mango the king of fruit on one hand and guava the poor man’s apple on the other is placed on envious pedestal of having the world largest germplasm (755) in its field genebank. Being ever committed to challenging and tempting task of conserving our invaluable fast eroding genetic wealth of mango, during the period we through our dedicated team at the Institute could virtually ignite the passion of farmers and set the example to be emulated, for conserving the unique heirloom mango varieties by empowering the farmer through Society for Conservation of Biodiversity. Consequently we were able to submit 34 farmers and community varieties to PPV&FRA for registration, established community nurseries and outside community nursery produced more than 10000 grafts of non-commercial varieties. Community varieties were multiplied and planted in multi variety orchards and the farmers could bag prices in national and regional diversity fairs. Guava varieties evolved at CISH owing to the wider consumer acceptability spread across the length and breadth of the country. Guava variety cv. Lalit made impressive headway in various cultivation pockets and virtually replaced the cultivation of vegetables in some areas of Varanasi and spread in far and wider areas of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Official release of our Guava variety cv. Shweta by PAU, Ludhiana for large scale cultivation is nothing but a tribute to our consistent efforts for serving the interest of farmers in particular and country at large for sustainable production and enhanced livelihood options for rural masses. Marching ahead with commitment, Institute following rigorous testing and evaluation released two improved varieties of guava (cvs CISH-GS-35 & CISH-G-5) in terms of higher productivity coupled with extended fruiting period. Apart from this Institute is also having invaluable germplasm of aonla, bael and underutilized fruit crops including jamun, mahua, khirni, woodapple etc.

Institute ever committed to provide genuine planting material with traceability has supplied 802742 grafted plants of mango, guava, aonla and bael to farmers, nurserymen, KVKs and State Governments since the establishment of state of art Nursery Complex at the Institute.

Institute has vigorously advocated non-chemical method for the management of fruit fly-serious pest of mango and guava using wooden block trap soaked with methyl eugenol. Around 10,000 traps were distributed to the famers through KVKs. Mango orchards covering 1000 ha each in five districts including Lucknow, Unnao, Sitapur, Hardoi and Raebareli are getting benefited. Keeping the global consumer preferences in view, CISH has developed a unique fermented, nutritious and refreshing drink-AONLA CIDER from aonla fruit. This production technology has recently been transferred to Center for Technology and Entrepreneurship Development, Industrial Area, Jagdishpur at a cost of Rs. 3,00,000 (Three lakhs only).

In view of the ‘STUDENT READY’ approach of ICAR, Institute signed MOUs with Integral University, Lucknow, Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Science, Allahabad, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi and Lucknow University, Lucknow for pursuing M. Sc. and Ph. D. degrees of their students at this institute. Institute is also recognized by IGNOU, New Delhi as one of the study center for offering a certificate course on organic farming.

‘FARMERS FIRST’ issues are being addressed through ‘Farmers advisory’ Farmer’s Scientist Interactive meets in order to address the contextual problems. During 2014-2015 around 1314 farmers from (M.P., U.P., Bihar & Uttarakhand) visited the Institute to get themselves apprised about the technologies evolved. Besides 224 students (Graduate & Post Graduate Students) from SAUs too visited the Institute for the exposure to latest know how in term of technology development and advancement in horticultural sciences.

In right earnest we at this Institute pledge to serve the farming community of the country through our technology led drive with firm scientific base and its dissemination in the years ahead and developed skilled human resource willing to opt for horticulture as an enterprising entrepreneur.