The Agronomy Division is involved in research on the following commodities: onion, garlic, potato, tobacco, wheat, rice, bean, lima bean, pea, soybean, cassava, colocasia and leafy spices. The main research themes are introduction and evaluation of improved germplasm, productivity and quality improvement and variety development and germplasm management. A multidisciplinary approach is adopted and a close collaboration is maintained with other Divisions. Farmers’ participation in research projects through the implementation of on-farm trials is considered to be of utmost importance. Over the last 20 years, 15 onion, 2 vegetable soybean, 2 vegetable cowpea, one edible-podded pea, one green pea, 2 snap bean, 2 dry bean, 4 bush lima bean, 4 pole lima bean, and 4 tobacco varieties have been recommended for commercial cultivation. Two newly bred onion varieties namely, Bellarose and Francia, emanating from the onion breeding programme have also been released to growers for cultivation.
Objectives of the Division
To optimize the productivity and quality of the crops falling under the Division mandate
- To develop and produce new crop cultivars out of local as well as imported germplasm
- To introduce, evaluate and screen cultivars with high crop performance.
- To widen the range of crops and cultivars commercially grown on the local market.
- To identify and select crops that can be potentially cultivated as a good substitute for sugarcane in the land released from the sugar industry.