Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI) was established during August 1949 at Patna (Bihar, India) on the recommendation of the Agricultural Advisor to the Government of India, Sir Herbert Steward under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. The institute was later on, shifted to Shimla, Himachal Pradesh in 1956 in order to facilitate hybridization work in potato breeding and maintain seed potato health. It was transferred to the ICAR in April 1966.
ICAR-CPRI is situated in the heart of Shimla (31.0965° N and 77.1717° E) near Bemloe, Himachal Pradesh, India. Shimla is the headquarters of the institute. It is approximately 4 km from Bus Stand and 6 km from railway station on the national highway no. 21. It is located at an altitude of 2200 meters above mean sea level and has a wet temperate climate.
To carry out research, education and extension on potato in collaboration with national and international partners for enhancing productivity and profitability, achieving sustainable food and nutritional security and alleviating rural poverty.
ICAR-CPRI is a non-profit scientific institution under the ICAR and working exclusively on potato crop.The institute has played a key role in popularizing potato cultivation and utilization under sub-tropical agro-ecosystem.It is well known that potato plays an important role in food and nutritional security of the world including India, while helping the rural poor to rise out of poverty.The institute focuses all its energy to make that belief becomes a reality.
·Basic, strategic and applied research to enhance sustainable productivity, quality and utilization of potato.
·Repository of genetic resources and scientific information on potato.
·Transfer of technology, capacity building and impact assessment of technologies.
·Disease-free nucleus and breeder seed potato production.
·Coordinate research and validation of technologies through AICRP on potato.
The research and developmental activities of the institute is carried out in five (revised) divisions:
·Division of Crop Improvement & Seed Technology
·Division of Crop Production
·Division of Plant Protection
·Division of Crop Physiology, Biochemistry and Post Harvest Technology
·Division of Social Sciences
ICAR-CPRI, Shimla has seven regional stations mainly for seed production which are located across the country to cater the need for location specific potato research and extension activities.
·ICAR-CPRI, RS, Modipuram, Meerut (Uttar Pradesh)
·ICAR-CPRI, RS, Jalandhar (Punjab)
·ICAR-CPRI, RS, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)
·ICAR-CPRI, RS, Patna (Bihar)
·ICAR-CPRI, RS, Shillong (Meghlaya)
·ICAR-CPRI, RS, Ooty (Tamil Nadu)
·ICAR-CPRI, Kufri-Fagu Unit (Shimla, Himachal Pradesh)
ICAR-CPRI has well established seed production system in which institute produces about 3000 tonnes of breeders’ seed annually from about 521 ha farm area distributed over 15 units in the country at our Regional Stations. The breeder’s seed is supplied to the State Department of Agriculture/Horticulture for further multiplication in three stages as Foundation-I, Foundation-II, and Certified Seed.
The institute has created state-of-art laboratories for conducting basic and strategic research in the field of biotechnology, genomics, genetics and plant breeding, plant protection, soil science and agronomy, plant physiology, biochemistry, and post-harvest technology. The major laboratories are National Active Germplasm Repository, Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Potato Genomics and Bio-informatics Laboratory, Cell Biology Laboratory, Diagnostic Laboratory, Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Virus Culture Facility, Radioisotope Laboratory, Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory, Late Blight Screening Facility, Remote Sensing and GIS Laboratory, Tissue Culture Facility, Mini-processing Plant, Biochemical Analysis Laboratory, Aeroponic facilities, Controlled Temperature Storage Facility, and Mini-phytotron Facility etc.
The ICAR-CPRI Library and Documentation Services unit was established in 1956. Presently this library stacked over 67 thousands documents and has attained the position of most sought-after library on potato research and development in India. Since its inception this library has acted as repository and clearinghouse of potato literature and information. It continually provided scientific and technical information supports and services towards attainment of research mission of the institute.
All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Potato
All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Potato was started in 1971, at ICAR-CPRI, Shimla for technology development of potato. Currently, the AICRP (Potato) has 25 centers located in different parts of the country for the multi-location testing of advanced stage hybrids for varietal development.