All India Coordinated Research Project on Linseed

Historical background

The research programme on AICRP linseed was initiated under the All India Coordinated Research Project on Oilseeds (AICORPO) in September, 1967 along with rapeseed mustard, groundnut, sesame castor and linseed. In 1977, the linseed Coordinating Unit headed by Associate Project Coordinator at IARI Regional Station, Kalyanpur, Kanpur came into existence. Later on, the position of Associate Coordinator was elevated to the Project Coordinator and the Unit was shifted to the premises of S. C. Azad University of Agriculture & Technology, Kanpur during VI plan  period in August 1981.

The VIII plan period witnessed the strengthening of the then existing centres, shifting of Akola centre to Nagpur (Maharashtra) apart from the creation of four new centres i.e. Raichur (Karnataka), Sagar (Madhya Pradesh), Chiplima (Odisha) (shifted to Jashipur (Odisha) during later plan period) and Hoshangabad (non-funded) through deployment of staff. Gurdaspur centre could not be continued for a long time and it was dropped/closed down in IX plan on account of low acreage under the crop in Punjab. After partition of Bihar, a new centre was created at Patna in X plan period.  To support the linseed research in NEH region, a new centre at Shillongani (Assam) came in to existence during XI plan period. Two new centres i.e. Barapani (Meghalaya), Umiam (Meghalaya ) and Pune (Maharashtra ) were approved during the XII plan period.

As of now, linseed research project has 14 AICRP and about 10 voluntary centres spread over all the four agro-climatic zones of the country i.e. Zone I represents states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana; Zone-II represents Uttar Pradesh (excluding Bundelkhand region), Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand; Zone III represents Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Karnataka..


linseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) is an important oilseed crop used for industrial and edible purposes. In Turkistan, Afghanistan, India, United States of America, Canada and China, it is primarily grown for seed oil while in Asia and South Russia, it is traditionally cultivated for edible as well as industrial fibre purposes. In Canada, its neutraceutical values are primarily exploited in addition to its fibre for textile industries.

linseed plant is endowed with immense qualities. The main industrial use of its oil is in the manufacture of eco friendly paints, varnishes, a wide range of coating oils, linoleum, pad and printing inks, leather and soap. Oil cake is a good feed for milch cattle, which prevents them from many diseases.

Recent advances in medicine have established its unparalleled qualities, which controls prostrate and bowel cancer and regulates cholesterol. Being a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid, it regulates metabolism of human body and prevents many neurological and brain related elements. Its fibre is lustrous and blends well with cotton, wool and the pulp is used for making currency notes, reinforced plastics and for other artisan purposes. 

Until late sixties, the linseed research work in the country was highly diffused and sporadic. The inception of AICORPO in 1967 with linseed as one of the mandate crops paved the way for systematic improvement in linseed crop giving special emphasis on varietal improvement. The research work on linseed under AICORPO was started initially at four centres viz, Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Kanke (Jharkhand), Mauranipur (Uttar Pradesh) and Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) (shifted to Palampur (Himachal Pradesh) in VII Plan) along with a joint centre at Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) for rapeseed mustard and linseed. However, the linseed research work at Kanpur remained supported by the state budget until 1983. In VI plan period, the joint centres viz., Faizabad (Uttar Pradesh) and Durgapura (West Bengal) (shifted to Kota (Rajasthan) in VII plan) were also assigned to work on linseed along with their mandatory crops, while sunflower seed production unit at Akola (shifted to Nagpur in VII plan) was converted into linseed centre. In the VII plan through redeployment, five more centres were added to AICRP linseed. Among these, Chiplima (shifted to Jashipur), Sagar, Raichur, Hoshangabad (non funded) continued while Berhampore and Gurdaspur have been dropped in IX plan. Patna (BAU) was introduced during X plan and Shillongani (AAU) during XI plan as a new centre. During October 2020, Germplasm Management Unit and the Project Coordination was moved to ICAR-Indian Institute of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad for providing research back up, and specialized facilities. The multi-disciplinary approach resulted in organized and systematic research endeavour for tackling location specific, situation/system oriented productivity problems of this highly valuable industrial hitherto grossly neglected crop at farmers’ level relegating it to only marginal and sub marginal lands.

With technology mission on oilseeds in operation, the research work was restructured at different centres with regional problem oriented activities. The progress of work on such activities is regularly monitored and documented.