Keeping in view of the export potential of Orchids, based on the recommendations of the Planning Commission, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) established a National Research Centre for Orchids during VIIIth Five Year Plan at Pakyong, Sikkim since October 1996. The state of Sikkim has handed over 22.19 acres of land with all other assets belonging to Regional Agricultural Centre at Pakyong on lease basis for 99 years. The Director General, ICAR, New Delhi visited and inaugurated this centre when visited Gangtok (5th October, 1996) to attend Regional Commitee meeting of Zone III. Since then the centre is undertaking mission oriented research programme on crop improvement, crop production and post harvest managemaent. In October 1997, the centre also took over the Darjeeling centre of C.P.R.I. Shimla.
The average rainfall at Pakyong ranges from 2,000-2,500 mm perannum,mainly distributed from April to October, humidity varies from 70-80% , and temperature ranges from 7-270C. The nearest railway station is at New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and airport is at Bagdogra which is about 130 kmaway from the center. The center is in process of developing phase and modernising its infrastructure including construction of office building and residential quarters
For resolving major constraints in production of orchids and other bulbous ornamentals in major growing belt, the centre has mission mode approach with following mandate
Collection, characterization, evaluation and conservation of orchid germplasm.
Molecular characterization to check bio-piracy and IPR protection of orchids.
Development of protocols for mass multiplication.
Production of quality planting materials for large scale cultivation.
To develop hybrids/ varieties suitable for domestic and export markets.
To develop production, protection and post-harvest technologies for orchids.
To act as a national repository of scientific on mandate crops.
To coordinate research with other scientific organizations and acts as a centre for training.
To collect, conserve, characterize and evaluate germplasm and develop National repository of orchids.
To evaluate locally adopted orchid species for their suitability as cut flower or potted plant for commercial purpose.
To standardize micro propagation techniques for production of quality planting material at commercial scale.
To develop export-worthy orchid lines through a systematic breeding programme.
To carry out systematic work on disease and pest management of Orchids.
To standardize post harvest management practices of orchid cut flowers for domestic and International markets.
Collection, maintenance, documentation and conservation of germplasm.
Morphological and molecular characterization of important germplasm to safeguard valuable indigenous generic resources.
Strategic development of new improved varieties with genetic potential.
Development of potential hybrids with high yield, quality and tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses.
Development of protocol for mass multiplication of improved varieties/hybrids of orchids and bulbous flowering plants.
Development of production technology for increasing productivity of new hybrids/varieties of commercial orchids.
Standardization of pre and post harvest techniques for reducing the storage and transport losses and development of value added products.
Promotion of integrated disease and pest management programme.
Disseminate technologies through vibrant training programme, demonstration, publication and mass media.
To prepare the data base and compilation of data by providing micro processing facilities.
Promoting the human resource development on relevant discipline.
Strengthening the floricultural research information system with special reference to orchids.