My warm greetings and welcome to the ICAR-Indian Institute of Oilseeds Research (IIOR), a premier ISO 9001-2015 certified institute, engaged in oilseed research and coordination since April 1967. Since its inception in the nascent form as All India Co-ordinated Research Project on Oilseeds (AICRPO), the institute has grown into a frontline research institute spearheading the research activities in oilseeds. The institute (formerly Directorate) has contributed as technology provider in ushering yellow revolution with its central role in coordinating a hub of activities in the oilseed technology mission. IIOR has its share in increasing the oilseeds production by 5.5 times to reach to 32 million tonnes from a mere 6 million tonnes in sixties given the background that majority (~65%) of the area under oilseed cultivation is a rainfed ecosystem with small farm holdings. In spite of the spectacular achievements made, the present situation of a huge demand-supply gap in vegetable oils and a large scale import dependence for vegetable oils (60% worth Rs.69024 crores during 2018-19) poses a formidable challenge in the vegetable oil sector. Low productivity and profitability of oilseed production system, the declining area and factor productivity, ever increasing demand for vegetable oil which at present is more than 18 kg/year per capita, technical inefficiencies in processing sector, consumer oriented pricing policies, are contributing to the humongous gap between demand and supply of vegetable oils.
As has been outlined in the ‘brief history’ section, during February 2015, the former Directorate of Oilseeds Research has been upgraded as Indian Institute of Oilseeds Research with a mandate to work on six annual oilseed crops viz., sunflower, safflower, castor, sesame, niger, and linseed. IIOR co-ordinates the AICRP programmes and oilseed seed hubs in these crops with an operational network of centers /PC units. The institute has a good infrastructure in terms of state- of-art laboratories with the necessary equipment and facilities, and three well maintained research farms at Rajendranagar, Narkhoda and ICRISAT, to carry out basic, strategic, and applied research in the mandate crops both in Alfisols and Vertisols. IIOR has a scientific strength of 40 scientists representing four divisions: Crop Improvement, Crop Production, Crop Protection and Social Sciences.
IIOR has many scientific achievements to its credit e.g. development of first castor hybrid, first CGMS based hybrid in safflower, first commercialized bio-pesticide, first to produce insect resistant transgenics in castor and necrosis disease resistant transgenic sunflower, etc. To further highlight, IIOR and its AICRP system is instrumental in development and release of more than 250 high yielding varieties/hybrids in the mandate crops. For each of the mandate crops, production technologies have been standardized with a focus on cropping system approach, resource use efficiency, and conservation agricultural practices. Several genotypes with tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses have been identified through the standardized screening and evaluation procedures. The institute has been a pioneer in developing biopesticides such as Bacillus thuringiensis, Nomuraea rileyi, Beauveria bassiana, and biocontrol agents such as Trichoderma. Cost effective production technologies for these bioagents have been developed and licensed to more than 50 companies. There are many new research initiatives in frontier areas of research e.g. use of nanotechnology to improve the nutrient use efficiency, biopolymer based seed coating for efficient delivery of the bio-inoculants, development of value added products from de-oiled meal, etc. IIOR has two patents to its credit and another two has been filed. Institute has been in the forefront in taking the technologies to farmers through different ICT approaches as well as the conventional FLDs, trainings, development of decision support systems, mobile apps, skill upgradation to farmers, agripreneurs and input dealers, field days, farmers’ days, etc.
IIOR is committed to enhancing the domestic availability of vegetable oils, through innovative, sustainable and profitable technologies for achieving quantum jump in oilseeds productivity and their wide scale adoption. IIOR is focused and has drawn strategies to tackle the major limitations that threaten to reduce the productivity. To address the researchable issues in mandate crops, at present the institute is handling 26 institute projects and 10 externally funded projects. These research programmes have been planned and formulated in consultation with RAC, QRT and IRC meetings, and as per the vision document
Apart from the research activities, the institute annually organizes the Agriculture Education Day (December 3), National Science Day (February 28), International Women’s Day (March 8), International Yoga Day (June 21), to spread awareness on scientific temperament as well as social well-being. In association with ISOR, IIOR has successfully organized 2 international seminars, 10 national seminars, 4 brainstorming/panel discussions. Prof. M.V. Rao lectures on various aspects of value chain in vegetable oils and the proceedings/recommendations of these have been widely circulated for the benefit of all. IIOR also houses a well maintained guest house to accommodate trainees and participants of various programmes of the institute.
The institute has been in the forefront in implementing the administrative and financial reforms as instructed by the Council and has the distinction of not having any major audit paragraphs which is a testimony for the administrative efficiency and adaptation. IIOR also takes pole position in terms of implementing all the central schemes such as TSP, NEH plan, Official language implementation, e-office adaptation, seed village, farmers days, MGMG, SCSP, etc. and as per the directives from the Council.
As detailed elsewhere in the webpage, IIOR, along with its associated AICRP, has won several awards and recognitions at individual as well as institute level for the contributions made to the research on vegetable oils. IIOR also has won accolades and medals in sports, Hindi language implementation, Krishikosh management, implementation of direct benefit sharing under Biodiversity act, etc.
With the competent, enthusiastic and well trained manpower, I am sure that IIOR institute will continue to be the flag bearer of improving the mandate crops to face the challenges and partner/contribute to achieve higher self-sufficiency in vegetable oils. I am confident that IIOR with its strategic location in Hyderabad, the “Research Capital” of the country, the available human resource, infrastructure and support from the Council, will flourish further and commit to cater to the needs of the society at large and the vegetable oil requirement of the country in particular.
I hereby invite you to be a partner in the progress of ICAR-IIOR to involve for large scale adoption and spread of technologies and recommendations besides interaction with constructive comments and suggestions.
IIOR celebrates Foundation Day on August 1 every year.