Plant Introduction Agencies in India
In India centralized plant introduction agency was initiated at IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute) in 1946 at New Delhi. In 1956 it was expanded as the “Plant Introduction and Exploration Organization” and in 1961, it was made an independent division in IARI as the “Division of Plant Introduction”. In 1976 division was reorganized as NBPGR (National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources). This bureau is responsible for the introduction and maintenance of germplasm of Agricultural and horticultural crops. In addition to bureau there are some other agencies, which are concerned with plant introduction viz.
i) FRI (Forest Research Institute): Dehradun established for the Introduction and Maintenance of forest species
ii) Botanical Survey of India: It was established in 1890 and responsible for introduction testing and maintenance of medicinal and botanical plants. But at present introduction and improvement of medicinal plan looked after by NBPGR.
iii) The Central Research Institute: For various crops e.g. Tea, Coffee. Sugarcane, Potato, Tobacco, etc introduce, test and maintain plant material of their interest, but their activities are coordinated by NBPGR.
iv) NBPGR: NBPGR has its head quarter at IARI, Delhi. It has four substations for testing of the introduced materials viz. Simla, Jodhpur, Kanyakumari and Akola. They represent the temperate zone, arid zone, tropical zone and mixed climatic zone respectively.
The Activities Functions of NBPGR:
1) It introduces the required germplasm from its counter plants.
2) It arranges explorations inside and outside the country to collect valuable germplasm.
3) It is responsible for inspection and quarantine of all the introduced plant materials.
4) It is responsible for testing, multiplication and maintenance of germplasm obtained through various sources.
5) Maintenance of record of introduced plants.
6) To supply on request germplasm of various scientists or institution.
7) Improvement of medicinal and aromatic plants.
8) To set up natural gene sanctuaries of plants, where genetic resources are available.
9) To supply germplasm to its counterparts or other agencies in other countries.