To harness the vest potentialities of temperate horticultural crops in the region, the Central Institute of temperate Horticulture (CITH) established by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) as a premier Institute with main campus at Srinagar and one Regional Station at Mukteshwar for carrying out basic, Strategic and applied research on major temperate horticultural crops. Since the inception the Institute is involved in generation of basic information identification and development of high yielding varieties and hybrids, efficient cropping systems and appropriate production and protection technologies, post-harvest management, production of quality seeds and planting material, demonstration and transfer of technologies through eight network centres across the country.
Genesis of CITH / Brief History
To gear up temperate horticultural production and productivity, the research on temperate horticultural crops was given an independent status in 1991, after its establishment at Mukteshwar, Kumaon, Distt. Nainital (Uttarakhand) with the transfer of 20 ha. of land along with 1 Sr. Scientist, 1 Sr. Clerk, 2 technical assistants and 7 supporting staff of Potato Research Centre at Mukteshwar under the administrative and financial control of CISH, Lucknow.
The main campus of the Institute at Srinagar (J&K) came into existence in October 1994 with the joining of Officer Incharge under the administrative and financial control of CISH, Lucknow and subsequently an area of 34 hectares was taken on lease from SKUAST (K) as per MOU of ICAR with SAU at KD Farm, near Old Airfield, Rangreth, Srinagar. The Institute virtually became functional by 1997-98 at main Campus with the appointment of regular Director and sanctioned twenty one scientific positions to look after the mandated activities.
- To act as national repository of germplasm and scientific information on temperate horticultural crops.
- To undertake basic, strategic and applied research on temperate horticultural crops in collaboration with national and international agencies to enhance productivity and quality.
- To serve as centre of training for human resource development and transfer of technology.
- To augment the existing germplasm with superior genotypes from indigenous as well as from exotic sources having resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
- To devise efficient propagation and cost effective production technologies for increasing productivity and improving quality of temperate horticultural crops including intercropping and cropping systems for orchards.
- To develop eco-friendly disease/pest management techniques including mitigation of post harvest spoilage.
- To reduce post-harvest and storage losses to minimum level and generate more income through value addition and processing.
- To increase foreign exchange earnings through export and to reduce import of items.
Major Thrust Areas
- Survey, collection, evaluation, molecular characterization and conservation of germplasm of temperate horticultural crops.
- Large scale production of quality planting material including establishment of mother orchards for scion wood of elite varieties for distribution among development departments and farmers.
- Quality seed production of temperate vegetables and flowers.
- Identification and development of high yielding varieties and hybrids having superior quality, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses in temperate horticultural crops.
- Development of intensive cropping systems for enhancement of vertical productivity through high density orcharding, pollination management, plant architectural engineering and canopy management.
- Intensification and diversification of orchard crop based cropping systems through intercropping.
- Improvement of productivity by integrated nutrient management, water harvesting and water efficient moisture conservation and micro irrigation techniques.
- Management of abiotic stresses with special references to drought, frost, excess moisture, high and low temperature etc.
- Production of inputs like composts, bio-agents, bio-fertilizers etc. and their optimal utilization in organic farming in saffron, kiwi fruit, pecan nuts, walnuts and vegetables.
- Thrust on research on fruits like kiwi, olives, pecan nuts, nectarines, berries, temperate grapes etc. under diversification.
- Standardization of production and protection technologies for protected cultivation of strawberry, vegetables and ornamental plants.
- Standardization of nursery management and propagation techniques in important temperate horticultural crops.
- Rejuvenation of declining orchards of apple, almond and other fruit crops.
- Development of agro techniques for saffron, kalazeera and important vegetable crops.
- Bio-molecular determination for quality in commercially important fruits, vegetables and indigenous medicinal and aromatic plants.
- Standardization of cost effective technologies for cut flower production of important crops.
- Integrated management for existing and emerging insect pests, diseases and weeds.
- IT based decision support system for fore warning of insect pest and disease incidence.
- Enhancing mechanisms for optimizing R&D activities through mechanization.
- Development of maturity indices, pre and post harvest management, value addition, processing and CA storage of temperate horticultural crops.
- Transfer of technology and socio economic impact analysis.
- IPR management and commercialization of methods and products.
- Human resource development in new emerging fields and technologies.