Welcome to AICRP on Arid Zone Fruits
Organized research on arid zone fruits was initiated by the ICAR in 1976 on ad-hoc basis under AP Cess Fund Scheme. Research work on some selected fruits in the semi arid areas in India at 10 centres was initiated in the country. During the Vth Five year Plan, the ad-hoc scheme became a component of the All India Coordinated Fruit Improvement Project. During the Vllth Plan, the scheme was restructured and launched as AICRP on Arid Zone Fruits.During the period 1976-1998, two centres (Lahaul – HPKVV and Bhojka – RAU) were closed down. Four centres were shifted to new locations, from Chandan Well to Bikaner under SKRAU, Hisar to Bawal under CCSHAU, Yercaud to Aruppukottai under TNAU and Udaipur to Jobner under SKRAU. Three centres i.e. Anantapur (APHU, 1983), Dantiwada (SDAU, 1983) and Faizabad (NDUAT, 1987) were added.
Theme wise Research Achievements
(i) Conservation and Management of Genetic Resources
Identification and collection of genetic resources of the major arid zone fruits (ber, pomegranate, aonla, date palm, custard apple, fig and bael) have been the most significant contributions of the Project. The Project Centres through survey and exchange have made collections of germplasms of arid zone fruits and are maintaining them in field repositories. This has allowed ex-situ conservation of genetic diversity of these under-exploited fruit crops. Most of these germplasms are from within the country except some exotic lines, notably of date palm and pomegranate. Although the total numbers of varieties, as mentioned above, also include repetition of some varieties at different centres, availability of germplasms under varied agro-climatic conditions of the centres allows their conservation, adaptation and evaluation.
Project Coordinator’s message
The All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Arid Zone Fruits of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the most wonderful system for testing and recommending the location and need-based technologies depending on the agro-climatic conditions. In this system, both the ICAR Research Institutes and State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) work as a team where the 75% financial aid is given by the ICAR and 25% liability is on the SAUs.