IARI, Regional Station, Katrain, H.P.

Dr. Raj Kumar
Head, Principal Scientist
Phone: 01902 - 241280
Fax: 01902 - 240124
E-mail: head_katrain[at]iari[dot]res[dot]in

 

The credit for the country's achieving self sufficiency in the production of seeds of temperate vegetables goes largely to the IARI Regional Station at Katrain. The success achieved by the station in the development of a whole package of technology for vegetables and seed production is well known. A classic example is the successful seed production of late cauliflower (Snowball) for the first time in the country. At present, the seeds of 60 varieties in 26 vegetables are being produced at the station.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Before Second World War, the seeds of all temperate vegetable crops (European types) were being imported from abroad but during war there were difficulties in their import  so the then Government of India established a research station at Quetta-Baluchistan, now in Pakistan, in 1942-43 for producing temperate vegetable seeds. After partition, the Government of India in 1949 set up a Central Vegetable Breeding Station at Kullu Valley. In 1955, the Station was transferred to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi with a view to intensifying the improvement work and seed production on temperate vegetables and was renamed as IARI Vegetable Research Station and finally as IARI Regional Station.

In 1960, a floriculture section was added and a comprehensive collection of bulbous flowering plants was raised. From 1969 to 1975, work on soybean was carried out under a scheme and a soybean variety, Lee was recommended for the growers.

A centre under the All India Co-ordinated Vegetable Improvement Project was established in 1970-71 and subsequently other allied disciplines, such as Plant Pathology and Entomology. To strengthen the floriculture work, All India Co-ordinated floriculture Improvement Project started in 1972 at the station

APPROACH TO KATRAIN
Katrain is 296 km away from Chandigarh and situated on the Ambala - Manali National Highway No. 21 at a point between Kullu and Manali, about 20 km from each side. It is well connected by road from Delhi (562 km), Pathankot (340 km) and Shimla (257 km), and from many other places by link or direct route to Manali and also to Lahaul and Spiti valley through Rohtang Pass. Air services, Delhi – Shimla – Kullu (Bhuntar) also connect Katrain, which is 29 km from Bhuntar on the same Highway.

EXPERIMENTAL FARMS
At present, the Station has three experimental farms at Naggar, Baragran and Sarsai and Office Field at Katrain, which are located at a distance of 3-12 km from each other in the Kullu Valley.

Office and Research Facilities :
The research laboratories, library and offices are housed in a newly constructed office complex spread over 1.47 ha on the Kullu – Manali highway about half a km before the Katrain village. Twenty five residential quarters are available for various categories of staff at the Station. The Station facility also includes two glass houses, one transgenic poly house, well equipped laboratories, seed processing unit, seminar hall with multimedia and internet connectivity. The library has a good collection of books and scientific journals both of academic and practical. All the three farms also have one poly house and field laboratories-cum-offices facility.

Naggar Farm :
The Naggar farm situated at an altitude of 1688 m above sea level has an area of 3.80 ha. The main crops grown for seed multiplication are: cabbage, turnip, peas, radish, tomato, French bean, carrot, brinjal, capsicum, cucumber, spinach, beet and lettuce. Research work on the improvement of vegetable and ornamental crops is also being conducted. The annual rainfall at this farm is 1000 to 1100 mm and annual snowfall 1100 to 1300 mm.

Baragran Farm :
The Baragran farm situated at an altitude of 1560 m above sea level has an area of 2.60 ha. The main crops grown for seed multiplication are: beet, radish, turnip, late cauliflower, tomato, brinjal, capsicum, knol-kohl, palak, carrot, brussels sprouts and lettuce. Research work on the improvement of these crops is also conducted at this farm. The annual rainfall is 950-1000 mm and the annual snowfall 1000-1100 mm.

Sarsai Farm :
The Sarsai farm situated at an altitude of 1650 m above sea level has as area of 2.08 ha. The main crops grown are: radish, turnip, beet, cabbage, lettuce, peas, tomato, capsicum, brinjal, cucumber, summer squash and asparagus. Research work on the improvement of some of these crops is also conducted. The annual rainfall at this farm is about 1100-1200 mm and the snowfall 1200-1500 mm.