Dr. S. K. Singh
E-mail: head_fht[at]iari[dot]res[dot]in, singhsk[at]iari[dot]res[dot]in
The Division of Fruits and Horticultural Technology was created in 1970 with the bifurcation of the then Division of Horticulture, which was constituted in 1956. Till date, the Division is a premier centre of research and post-graduate education. The major activity of the Division is to conduct research to improve production, productivity and quality of different fruit crops. During the last five decades, the Division has significantly contributed through research for the advancement of Horticulture, by ushering in the frontiers of knowledge in fruit crops and providing practical solutions to the problems confronting fruit industry as a whole. The research activities are undertaken with the following broad objectives:
- Genetic improvement through hybridization, mutagenesis and ploidy manipulation in mango, citrus, grape, guava and papaya for enhanced yield, better nutritional quality, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses and attributes suited for industrial use and export.
- Augmentation, characterization, evaluation and maintenance of germplasm in mango, grape, citrus, guava and papaya for breeding and evolving novel scion and rootstock genotypes.
- Application of in vitro techniques for genetic improvement and propagation of fruit crops.
- Genomic studies and developing mapping population (full & half sib) and genetic characterization using molecular markers for hybridity analysis, putative mutants/ variants, clonal fidelity, marker trait association for genome mapping.
- Establishing high-density orchards in mango, Kinnow mandarin, and guava using dwarf genotypes, dwarfing rootstocks, canopy management, agro-chemicals and other agronomic operations, like drip irrigation/ fertigation.
- Popularizing the use of bio-fertilizers for substituting inorganic sources and to improve fruit quality in mango and citrus.
- Improving fruit quality in grape and citrus with the application of new molecules and macro- and micro-nutrients for their sustainable production.
- Combating salinity and drought problems in mango, grape and citrus production through collection, hybridization/ evaluation and identification of different rootstock genotypes.
- To standardize integrated management strategies for minimizing the incidence of national problemslike mango malformation and guava wilt.
- The Division gives a strong emphasis on human resource development for strengthening horticultural research through post-graduate teaching and organizing training programmes in frontline areas in production, nursery management, Hi-tech production, crop improvement and application of new molecular tools on different fruit crops.
- The Division has a strong programme on transfer of technology through different in-house and external funded extension programmes of the institute, conducting regular field demonstrations, on the spot field visits and preparation of extension leaflets/folders/ booklets for the benefit of fruit growers and other stakeholders.Besides, it also provides consultancy services on different aspects of Fruit Production as and when approached following the institute’s protocol.