The particulars of its organisation, functions and duties
The Institute spread its sphere of Research activities to the length and breadth of the Nation by establishing its experimental stations at Lucknow, Nagpur, Ranchi, Godhra, Chettalli and Gonikopal. Over the years these experiment stations have grown in size and today they stand as independent institutes, however, retaining the Chettalli and Gonikoppal under its fold. As of now, the IIHR has its main research station at Hessaraghatta, Bangalore with 263 ha of land and Regional Experiment Stations at Bhuvaneshwar in Orissa and Chettalli in Karnataka with two Krishi Vigyan Kendras both located in Karnataka state at Gonikopal in Kodagu and Hirehalli in Tumkur districts. Apart from this the Project Coordinating Cell of the All India Coordinated Research Project on Tropical Fruits is also located at the institute at Bangalore.
The physical growth of the Institute could be viewed in two phases. The first phase is from 1970 to 1990, wherein emphases were laid on land development and buildings. During this phase the area for carrying out research and the area for laboratory buildings, supporting buildings and other essential office buildings was earmarked. Accordingly, the entire arable land was divided into well-defined nine blocks for carrying out research and independent buildings for various divisions and departments with laboratories were built.
The second phase of the physical growth was after 1990 during which emphases was laid on creating ultra-modern world class, infrastructure facilities in terms of equipments and structures. Currently the institute has well-defined 11 divisions and four sections namely, The Division of Fruit Crops, Division of Vegetable Crops, Division of Ornamental Crops, Division of Post-Harvest Technology, Division of Plant Pathology, Division of Entomology and Nematology, Division of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Division of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Division of Plant Genetic Resources, Division of Biotechnology and Division of Extension and Training and Sections of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Seed Science and Technology, Economics and Statistics and Agricultural Engineering with more than 65 purpose oriented laboratories having state of art equipments like electron microscope, ultra centrifuge, HPLC, GLC, LC counter etc., and infrastructures like a series of poly houses and net houses, growth chambers, mist chambers, cold storage facilities, gene bank, local area network with video conferencing facilities, Seed processing and nursery units etc. Apart from this the institute houses an ultra-modern library, a conference hall, auditorium, training hostel, Bank, Hospital, essential quarters and few other facilities.
The Institute has also got an Agriculture Technology Information Centre (ATIC), which is a single window agency for dissemination of information and technologies developed by the Institute. All the technological products and popular publications developed by the Institute are sold to the farmers and interested public through the agricultural technology information centre.
The main strength of the institute is excellent well trained human resources. Presently the Institute has a total strength of 619 staff with 150 Scientists 218 technical staff 92 Administrative staff and 159 supporting staff. The Institute is headed by the Director supported by various Heads of Divisions. The Director is also supported by the Senior Administrative Officer who is the Head of the office and also a Senior Finance and Accounts Officer to monitor Audit and Accounts. Dr Amrik Singh Sidhu is the Director of the Institute.
In the beginning years of the institute the main research agenda of the institute was to increase the yields of horticultural crop varieties by developing high yielding varieties in fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and medicinal and aromatic plants and also develop advanced production technologies to increase the productivity of horticultural crops. With changing times and emergence of new challenges in the fields of productivities, crop production, crop protection and crop utilization, emphasis was laid on breeding varieties for biotic and a biotic stresses breeding F1 hybrids, developing integrated pest and disease management technologies, developing integrated water and nutrient management protocols towards optimum utilization of resources developing Post Harvest Management practices to reduce the post-harvest losses and further value additions and frontier research areas like hi-tech horticulture, precision farming, information technology, biotechnological interventions to increase yields, protect crops from insect- pests, disease and viruses, and extension of shelf life of crop produces. Encompassing various goals and objectives of achieving sustainable development of horticulture, providing livelihood security, economic growth and nutritional security which have been challenged time and again by various obvious factors, the IIHR, Bangalore has been carrying out research in fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, medicinal and aromatic plants and mushrooms with the following mandate:
- To undertake basic, strategic, anticipatory and applied research to enhance productivity, quality, utility and sustainability of fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, medicinal crops and mushroom.
- To act as a repository of horticultural genetic resources and their management.
- To act as the knowledge hub and management of scientific and technical information in horticulture
- Transfer of technology and impact assessment in horticultural crops
- Human resources development in horticulture
To plan, coordinate, implement, monitor R&D programmes for sustainable production and resource conservation and to serve as knowledge and data repository in horticulture and establish national and international cooperation and visualize research needs as per changing scenario.
- To undertake research, education and extension in horticultural crops for enhancing productivity and sustainability to achieve food, nutritional and livelihood security.
- Increasing productivity and quality of horticultural crops through varietal improvement and developing sustainable integrated crop management practices.
- Production of quality planting material of Horticultural crops.
- Effective utilization of natural resources and enhancement of input use efficiency.
- Effective plant health management.
- Post-harvest management and value addition.
- Dissemination, popularization, adoption and impact assessment of IIHR technologies.