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ICAR-IIHR Celebrates 57 Years of Horticultural Excellence

ICAR-IIHR celebrates its 57th Institute Foundation Day, with over five decades of pioneering horticultural research and agricultural progress.

Vivek Singh
ICAR-IIHR Celebrates 57 Years of Horticultural Excellence (Photo Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)
ICAR-IIHR Celebrates 57 Years of Horticultural Excellence (Photo Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)

ICAR-IIHR celebrates its 57th Institute Foundation Day, with over five decades of horticultural research and agricultural progress. Established under ICAR, it was founded in New Delhi on September 5, 1967, and later moved to Hesaraghatta, Bengaluru, on February 1, 1968, incorporating the Fruit Research Station. The institute, spanning 263 hectares, continues to lead in horticultural research, with Dr G. S. Randhawa as its first director from 1967 to 1980, establishing its legacy of excellence.

IIHR's research has expanded nationwide with central horticulture experimental stations in key regions like Lucknow, Nagpur, Ranchi, Godhra, Chettalli, and Gonikoppal. Some have become independent institutes, while IIHR maintains its primary research station in Hesaraghatta, Bengaluru. IIHR also coordinates the All India Coordinated Research Project on Fruits under ICAR, consistently earning recognition in horticultural research and development.

Under the leadership of Professor Sanjay Kumar Singh, IIHR excels in horticultural research. Professor Singh acknowledged the contributions of staff, emphasized reflecting on the institute's history, and congratulated those shaping its legacy. IIHR's top rankings in 2019-20 and 2020-21 were noted, along with its serene location by Hesaraghatta Lake for pollution-free research.

Professor Singh highlighted IIHR's significant achievements and initiatives, such as innovative projects involving Chilli, Marigold, and the conversion of floral waste into valuable resources, along with pioneering efforts in vertical farming. He emphasized the importance of collaborative Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Agricultural Universities and Western Sydney. He also mentioned the inauguration of essential infrastructure funded through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributions by the Director-General of ICAR, which provides various research and incubation facilities.

Professor Singh pointed out the institute's partnership with HAL for a Seed cleaning and packing facility and the establishment of a Center of Excellence (CoE) for Kamalam Fruit through MIDH (Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture). Additionally, he introduced new initiatives in Digital Horticulture in collaboration with BEL, ISRO, C-DAC, IIITB, and other organizations. He highlighted the institute's role as an export hub for horticultural products, contributing to agricultural sector growth.

Dr Prakash Patil, Project Coordinator (Fruits) for ICAR-AICRP on Fruits, emphasized IIHR's significance and its expanding responsibilities during the inaugural remarks. He discussed the merger of tropical and sub-tropical fruits into a single project, hosted at IIHR across 50 centers in 22 states. Dr Patil praised the initiative's paperless transition and expressed gratitude to contributors, calling them "Arka family" members.

Dr P. Parvatha Reddy, Former Director of ICAR-IIHR, served as the Guest of Honour and congratulated all awardees. He highlighted the ongoing need for nutritional security and the vital role of digital horticulture, AI/ML, and automation in agriculture.

Dr V. B. Patel, ADG (F&P) at ICAR, New Delhi, attended as a Guest of Honour, congratulating awardees and fostering unity within the "Arka Family." He emphasized Teacher's Day's significance, lifelong learning, and excellence in endeavours. Dr Patel commended educators' contributions and Dr Randhawa's enduring legacy in horticulture. He lauded IIHR's 57-year journey and envisioned its global leadership in horticultural research and development. Dr Patel stressed the need to meet horticultural R&D demand and IIHR's commitment to establish MERU, a multidisciplinary university.

R. Pugazhenthi, GM (HLS&SCB), BEL, Bengaluru, was the Chief Guest, highlighting technology's role in addressing food security and India's leadership in digital payments. He emphasized technology's potential for agricultural optimization, waste reduction, and food security. Octogenarian staff members who significantly contributed to IIHR's growth were honored. They expressed joy and pride in the institute's progress.

The institute honored outstanding individuals, including the Best Teacher, Best Incubatee, Best Farmers, and staff from Administration, Technical, and other departments. They organized sports events and recognized all participants. The institute also launched "Darpan," a student-created magazine. It celebrated the signing of MoUs with Farmer Producer Companies, strengthening its commitment to agricultural development and industry collaboration. ICAR-IIHR expressed respect and gratitude by honoring its octogenarian staff members for their longstanding dedication and service.

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