Year of Establishment : 1954
History of the department : University of Calcutta is one of the few pioneer institutions in the country to realize the practical necessity of creating facilities for agricultural education and research. Efforts in this direction began as early as 1913 with the creation of Sri Rashbehari Ghosh Professor chair in the Department of Botany with special reference to Agriculture.Soon after it was followed by creation of another endowment chair designated as Khaira Professor of Agriculture in 1920.The Khaira Professor in Agriculture was instrumental in the formation of the Royal Commission in Agriculture in 1926 and the recommendations of the commission led to the establishment of Imperial Council of Agricultural Research which has been renamed as Indian Council of Agricultural Research after independence.Calcutta University started I.Sc(Ag) course in agriculture in 1939 at Barrackpore but it was discontinued in 1941 with the onset of second World War in 1941.In 1949, the entire establishment was shifted to Jhargram with the establishment of the first agricultural college. In 1952, The Govt. of West Bengal shifted the agricultural degree college from Jhargram to Ranikuthi(Tollygunge), Kolkata. Again in 1958, the degree college was shifted to Haringhata in Nadia which finally came into existence as Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya in 1974.
However, the Khaira Professor of Agriculture returned to Calcutta University and got himself engaged in organization of a post graduate department. A beginning was made in teaching of M,Sc(Ag) course in Agricultural Botany in Ballygunge Science College Campus of the University in 1954.The Department of Agriculture was upgraded to a full fledged Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary science in 1956. Professor Tarun Kumar Bose, eminent horticulturist was the first alumnus of this department and has played a key role in horticulture education at national level. Prof. P.K. Sen another illustrious faculty member of the college and a leading horticulturist of the country took decisive steps in laying the foundation of the College of Agriculture and making its presence felt across the country. Thereafter, in the year 1990 the subjects were compartmentalized and M.Sc(Ag)degree in Horticulture was conferred. To enter into the main stream of agricultural education and research as envisaged by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the University College of Agriculture was reorganized and restructured as Institute of Agricultural Science in 2002 with introduction of course credit system of teaching in six of its sister departments, Horticulture being one of them.
Since the inception of horticulture as a separate subject and thereafter upgraded to designated course curriculum, a plethora of eminent personalities comprising of alumnus and teachers in the field of Horticulture with specialization in different sub disciplines viz. pomology, olericulture, floriculture and landscaping,postharvest technology, plantation crops, medicinal and aromatic plants etc, have made significant contribution in horticulture research and education at national and international levels.
Thrust areas in teaching and research of the academic department :
- Major thrust area
- Genetic diversity and evaluation of horticultural crops .
- Breeding & Crop improvement in vegetables.
- Molecular characterization of horticultural crops.
- Clonal propagation of difficult to root fruit, ornamental and forest trees.
- Enhancement of shelf life of fruits & vegetables and vase life of cut flowers and foliage through preservatives and modified storage.
- Quality assessment of horticultural produce through analytical procedures.
- Emphasis on organically produced fruits & vegetables.
- Micro propagation of ornamental crop plants.
- Evaluation of indoor foliage plants.
- Dehydration of selected foliage and cut flowers.
Teaching support :
- Multimedia is being utilized for better interaction.
- Field visits to farmers field, private nurseries , processing factories, Tissue culture labs etc. are arranged for the students .
- Hands on training on basic techniques of plant propagation, nursery raising, experimental field lay out and molecular tools in accessing of genetic diversity.
- Utilization of open educational resources as available in the e-platform supported by the University website.
Major activities :
- The average output of the students are serving in named multinationals like Monsanto, Nunhems, Pepsico,Bayer,Dhanuka, MPS group etc. Some students are abroad and specializing in their respective disciplines. Some are engaged in the banking sector and school service. Some have joined as Research Assistants/ Associates/Subject matter specialists/Agricultural Officers in Govt. bodies.
- Research Scholars activities: Name: Moumita Malakar, participated and delivered oral and poster presentation at two International Symposium, five National Seminars and participated in three training programs pertaining to Organic farming.
Campus : Ballygange Science College campus
Address for communication : Annex Building-III, 51/2 Hazra Road,Kolkata - 700019