4.1 Prioritisation in Relation to Mandate, Objectives, Programmes, Strategies and Perspectives
The following were the Institute’s well developed priority areas and programmes during the X Plan:
Productivity Improvement through Genetic Potential Enhancement
● Development of novel plant types, hybrids in open- and self-pollinated crops, new varieties of wheat, scented rice, oilseeds, pulses, fruits, vegetables and flowers having varying maturity, improved quality, nutritional enrichment, and suitability for export backed by an appropriate production and post harvest technology for value addition and processing
● Registration of genetic stocks and protection of plant resources of IARI under PPV&FR, IPR and other regimes
● Seed production, processing and maintenance breeding and seed technology development particularly for vegetables and flower seeds
● Acceleration in plant breeding efforts through Marker Aided Selection (MAS) for specific character trait
● Augmentation of the scion bank, root stock research, innovative orchard management for higher production, fruit quality, high density planting, micro propagation of fruits, technology for fresh pulp, syrups, juices and other value added products
● Strengthening of hybrid seed production, protected horticulture and saplings production
Resource Management and Environment Protection
● Integrated pest management (IPM), integrated nutrient management (INM), precision agriculture, geographic information system based resources mapping, water conservation, organic farming, and crop residue management in different cropping systems
● Watershed management, water harvesting, optimal use of water, micro irrigation system based farming including fertigation and conjunctive use of water, encouraging ground water recharge and on-farm water management on a holistic basis
● Soil, water and nutrient management, maintenance of soil fertility to sustain agricultural productivity, resource conservation technology (RCT) for maximizing crop production, crop modeling using GIS, GPS and remote sensing technology
● Strengthening of research in the area of global warming, management of impact of climate changes, and alleviation of environmental degradation
● Issues related to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) agreement, Codex, biodiversity and bio-safety needs
● Enhancing the capability and capacity in cutting-edge science and technologies such as molecular biology and biotechnology, informatics, crop and resource modeling
● Gene isolation and gene sequencing, development of transgenics for biotic &
abiotic stress resistance and quality improvement, marker development, molecular probes for the detection and identification of plant pathogens
● Physiological and biochemical approaches for crop improvement through identification of constraints limiting productivity under different environments Dissemination and Transfer of Technology
● Extension management, improving managerial skills of extension personnel, rural entrepreneurship development, gender empowerment, expert system, capacity building for programme monitoring and evaluation, indigenous technical knowledge system and marketing extension
● Advisory service for proper nutrient usage, pest identification and diagnosis, and soil and water quality, weather-based agro-advisory to farmers on resource management and environment protection
● Developing extension methodology for quality seeds production and location- specific extension models for public-private partnership to facilitate commercialization of agriculture
● Developing and promoting village-based models for market-led agriculture for accelerating the adoption and diffusion of technologies in different states
● Popularization of IARI varieties and technologies in different states
● Catalyzing the public-private partnership to facilitate commercialization of agriculture
Socio-Economic and Policy research
● Making agriculture cost-effective and sustainable with focus on strengthening of market information system, agri-business management, product launching, and development of expert system/potential
● Research on impact assessment and priority setting, environmental accounting, agro-diversity, contract farming, subsidies, economic zones, farmer’s concern and linking production with marketing
● Strengthening of policy research on agro-biodiversity, plant varietal protection, plant breeders’ rights, farmers’ rights, intellectual property rights, biotechnology and GMOs, biosafety, etc., and national and international trade related issues
● Strengthening of the Institute Technology Management Cell (ITMC) to reach our products to farmers and others at affordable terms, and taking steps to protect innovation through intellectual property rights, trade mark, copy right, patent, etc.
Human Resource Development
● Development of the post graduate school to function as an important international centre for Human Resource Development in the field of agriculture
● Development of need-based basic and advanced courses and hand-on practical experience aimed to produce skilled human resources in the areas of biotechnology, precision agriculture, GIS, etc. Strengthening of trainings on molecular breeding, judicious use of natural resources, plant protection and hybrid seed production technologies
● Development of Centres of Advanced Studies to play leadership role in scientific research and technology generation
4.2 Programmes Crop Improvement
Heterosis breeding and development of hybrids; pre-breeding activities and development of basic strategies for genetic reconstruction; maintenance breeding of parental lines of hybrids, inbreds and varieties of crops, vegetables, fruits and flowers;
conventional breeding for improvement of mandate cereals, pulses, oilseeds, cotton, vegetables, flowers and fruits; molecular breeding for improvement of specific traits with precision in mandate crops; breeding for biofortification and nutrition use efficiency of both macro and micro nutrients, quality improvement; biotic stress resistance and abiotic stress tolerance; seed quality enhancement and production of quality seed/seed or planting material; DUS testing of plant varieties; genetic/molecular and structural basis for regulation/facilitation of germination, dormancy and vigour in seed; value addition for post-harvest processing and development of varieties of vegetables, fruits and flowers suited to protected cultivation technologies; post harvest management of arable crops; enhancement in quality and productivity of horticultural crops under protected conditions.
Biotic and abiotic stress tolerance (insect pests, viruses, drought, salinity and temperature); post-harvest physiology and preservation; nutritional quality improvement;
biological nitrogen fixation and biocontrol and nutrient dynamics; impact of climate change and related variables; development of a central facility with modern instrumentation.
Molecular strategy to develop and sustain improved plant resistance to biotic stress;
biochemical and physiological interactions between crop plant and biotic stress;
integrated pest management; forecasting and forewarning of pests and diseases; pest and pesticide risk analysis; pesticide resistance management; insect vector and disease relationship; development of novel agrochemicals and residue management; quality assurance, and safety of food products.
Natural Recourse Management
Microbial bio-control agents; integrated plant nutrient management systems; soil resource management; geo-informatics applications in agriculture; agro-advisory services; water and land resources management; recycling of waste waters in agriculture;
water and nutrient synergy for enhancing crop productivity; enhancing productivity of rainfed areas; crop diversification; resource conserving technologies; organic farming;
farm mechanization and development of equipment; precision farming and surface covered cultivation; post harvest engineering; climate change and agriculture;
environmental impact assessment of agriculture; biofuels; agri-informatics.
Policy research for sustainable agriculture; diversification of agriculture for enhanced livelihood security; institutions, policies and impact assessment; agricultural markets, trade and globalization; management of agricultural knowledge and information system;
participatory technology generation, transfer, constraints analysis and intersectorial planning; rural entrepreneurship development and women empowerment;
organizational strategy for commercialization and peri-urban agriculture.
The Institute has developed an excellent Vision 2025 document, which articulates perspectives in crop improvement, resource management, crop protection, basic sciences, social sciences and human resource development. However, the QRT feels that the Institute should develop a 5-yearly strategic plan with benchmark and clearly identifiable deliverable for every 5 year period.