Regional Horticultural Research and Training Station is the main research station on temperate fruits since its start in 1953 under the department of agriculture and later named as Regional Fruit Research Station in 1958 and is playing an important role in research and transfer of technology on temperate horticulture. 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 where apple, pear, plum and a number of exotic ornamental plants including many varieties of roses were planted. 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 Station of Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and forestry, Nauni, Solan (HP) and centre of excellence for sustainable apple production. Establishment of field gene bank of temperate fruits is also catering to needs of research, extension education and human resource development for Zone-III of the state. It has played a pivotal role in the horticultural development and bears the responsibility of solving the fundamental and applied problems of temperate fruit industry. It is the largest germplasm centre for apples, pear and cherries in India. At present about 286 apples, 87 pears, 50 cherry and 01 apricot and 03 of prune cultivars are being maintained in the repository. This station has played a pivotal role to bring the name of Himachal as 'Apple state of India'. The fruit growers are relying on the recommendations and other advisory services of this station in their day to day orchard operations.
The 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. The soil is clay loam to clay, fairly deep and slightly acidic in nature with a pH of 6.5. Annual rainfall of the area is 135 to 150 cm, most of which is received as monsoon rains during July to September. The highest temperature during the year does not ordinarily exceed 29.4oC in summers and the minimum does not go below - 4oC in winter months. It has an area of 64 acres. There are five disciplines of applied research in Fruit Science, Floriculture, Plant Pathology, Entomology and Soil Science. 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..
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