Regional Horticultural Research and Training Station, Mashobra Mashobra,Shimla (HP)

Regional Horticultural Research and Training Station is located at a distance of 16 kms from Shimla on Shimla-Tattapani- Mandi road. It is situated at 31.1oN latitude and 77.1oE longitude, North West of Shimla with an elevation of 2286 meters above mean sea level. It has an area of 35.04 acres. This station is playing an important role in research and transfer of technology on temperate fruits-. This station was inherited from an apple orchard planted by Mr. Alexander Coutts, a tailor to the then Viceroy of India Lord Dufferin who originally planted the orchard known as "Hillock's Head" in the year 1887. Later on, it was named as 'Coutt's Garden', where some of famous English varieties of apple such as Yellow Newton, King of Pippin and Granny Smith were also introduced. Since December 1, 1985 it is a leading Regional Horticultural Research and Training Station of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan (HP) and centre of excellence for sustainable apple production.
RHR&TS has been honoured to welcome the visits of three Presidents of India namely; His Excellency Dr Rajendra Prasad, Shri V.V. Giri and Shri R. Venketraman and first Prime Minister of country Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru besides several Governors, Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and Ministers of different states. In addition, foreign dignitaries particularly scientists, professors, eminent persons, farmers of all the states and tourists all over the world visit station to see fruits and flowers every year.


  • Conducting research on temperate fruits and ornamentals plants to cater the need of farmers of wet temperate zone of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Studies on seasonal activity, etiology, epidemiology and integrated management of important insect-pests and diseases of temperate fruit crops.
  • Transfer of the technologies generated on temperate fruits and ornamental plants to the farmers of Himachal Pradesh.


  • Largest germplasm centre for apples, pear and cherries in India. At present about 286 apples, 87 pears and 50 cherry cultivars are being maintained in the repository.
  • Modern laboratory facilities for establishment of clean plant stock of temperate fruit crops and molecular diagnosis of plant pathogens of horticultural crops.
  • Well equipped laboratory facilities for soil analysis and taxonomic studies of mites.
  • Provision and procedures for testing of brand name/new molecule formulations for private and public sector Indian companies.
  • Germplasm collection, maintenance and multiplication of commercial temperate ornamental and landscape plants.


Thrust Areas

  • Collection, conservation and evaluation of temperate fruits germplasm, exploring bud variation and evolving early maturing and low chill apple variety through hybridization.
  • Standardization of propagation techniques and large scale nursery production of temperate landscape plants, new promising bulbous and flowering pot plants and their market prospects.
  • Development of package of practices for apple production through natural farming-a sustainable farming system.
  • Standardization of soil and foliar application of nutrients for quality production of apple.
  • Monitoring of emerging insect-pests and diseases in temperate crops and evaluation of new molecules for their management.
  • All India Network Project on Agricultural Acarology funded by ICAR (₹ 21.58 lakh annual; April 2009–long term).
  • Establishment of Field Gene Bank of Temperate Fruits funded by PPV&FRA, Ministry of Agriculture, New Delhi (₹ 10.30 lakh annual; 2010 to long term).
  • Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project (HP-HDP) funded by World Bank, Dept. of Horticulture, Govt. of HP (₹187.95 lakh; Aug. 2016- Jul. 2023).
  • Pest Surveillance and Forecasting/Forewarning System (HP-HDP)Project component) funded by World Bank, Dept. of Horticulture, Govt. of HP (₹ 153.12 lakh; Aug. 2016 – Jul. 2023).
  • Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project (HP-HDP) Sub component “ Creation of gene bank of temperate fruits and nursery production” funded by World Bank, Dept. of Horticulture, Govt. of HP (₹ 30 lakh; Aug. 2016 – Jul. 2023).
  • Development of Subhash Palekar Natural Farming (SPNF) Model in apple under Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan Scheme funded by Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh for (₹ 1.13 crores; 2019-2024).
  • Created and maintained India’s largest germplasm field gene bank of temperate fruit plants.
  • In apple cv. Red Velox application (GA4+7+BA) @ 1000 ppm and BA @ 600 ppm two times at 14 days interval and pinching at the plant height of 50-60 cm from ground level were found effective in producing quality feathered nursery plants.
  • Russeting in apple cv. Red Velox was significantly reduced by application of GA4+7 + BA @ 10ppm at full bloom and petal fall and improved fruit quality in terms of fruit size, fruit weight and fruit volume of apple.
  • Produced and distributed quality nursery plants of apple (33554), pear (806) and cherry (2574) during last five years.
  • Standardization of growing media and growth regulators for rooting of Laurus nobilis, Cherry Lauro and Ampelopsis. Fifty per cent combination mixture of cocopeat and sand was found optimum for getting 70% rooting percentage when cuttings were raised in 1st week of July. IBA 1000 ppm also produced the maximum number of rooted plantlets in all three species.
  • Standardization of growing media for seed germination in Pyracantha, Tileaeuropea, Ligustrum japonicum, Cryptomeria japonica and Cunninghamia lanceolata and Flowering Crab apples. Sixty per cent cocopeat, thirty per cent sand and ten per cent well decomposed FYM gave more than 50 % seed germination in all these species.
  • Pioneer in production of apple through Subhash Palekar Natural Farming practices.
  • First ever identification of sexual stage of Marssonina coronaria causing premature leaf fall in apple through LAMP.
  • A total of 98 mite species belonging to phytophagous as well as predatory group was identified from commercially grown fruits, vegetable crops and ornamental plants. Out of which 31 new species were reported for the first time in India.
  • Application of Horticultural Mineral Oils(HMOs) at half inch green tip stage @ 2.0%(4litre/200litre of water) have been recommended for the control of European red mite and San Jose scale and @1.0%(2litre/200litre of water) during summer at walnut stage in apple orchards.
  • Among number of new acaricides evaluated against phytophagous apple mites i.e. Propargite 42%+hexythiazox 2%EC (Ceasemite), Cyenopyrafen 30% EC (Kunoichi) and Hexythiazox 5.45%EC (Maiden/Endurer) have been included in the spray schedule for temperate fruit crops.
  • Chlorocil @ 2ml/L of water and Dursban @2.0 ml/L of water provide complete suppression of woolly apple aphid(WAA) colonies and drenching basin area with Chlorpyriphos @0.04% successfully managed woolly aphid and root borer infestation.
  • Analysed 1496 nos. of soil samples and test reports along with advisory services were provided to the orchardists of Shimla district.


The extension activities like farmer’s training programmes, melas, exhibitions, workshops and seminars; days celebrations, vocational courses and diagnostic team visits are organized from time to time. The scientists of the station are actively involved in transfer of technology through mass communication media like Doordarshan and All India Radio.


  • Technical bulletins on management of mites and pamphlets on natural farming both in English and Hindi versions were developed for the benefit of farmers.
  • Organized on and off campus training programmes (>119 nos.) and delivered >500 online and off line lectures for farmers, students and extension functionaries.
  • Conducted field diagnostic visits (>300 Nos.), guided visits (>130) of VIPs, farmers, students, extension functionaries, NGOs etc.
  • Provided Advisory services through personal interaction (>1000), telephonically (> 2000 Nos.) and Radio/Television talks (>20) to farmers.
  • Organized State Level Kisan Mela and various exhibitions for highlighting the research and extension activities of research station.


  • 1st & 2nd prizes bagged in Garden Competition from SAGES Shimla on 2023 & 2022.
  • Letter of appreciation received from Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, YSPUH&F, Nauni for outstanding contribution in Apple Day cum Kisan Mela held on August 8, 2022.


  • Five well equipped laboratories
    • Fruit Science
    • Soil/Nutrition.
    • Entomology/Acarology (Phase contrast microscope, Mite brushing machine, Stereo Discovery V8 microscope)
    • Pathology (Molecular diagnostic facilities-Refrigerated centrifuges, PCR Machines, Electrophoresis units, Gel Documentation System, Nano drop, ELISA plate and washer, Microscopes, Incubators etc)
  • Seminar Hall-cum-Museum, Conference Room and Library
  • Meteorological Observatory
  • Five glass houses and four poly carbonate houses
  • Three water storage tanks in orchard area and one in nursery area
  • Farmer’s Hostel
  • Packing-cum-Grading House
  • Quality nursery production of temperate fruit plants for farmers