Central Arid Zone Research Institute is a constituent of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) - an autonomous organisation of Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. The institute owes its origin to Desert Afforestation Research Station (DARS) that was established 1952 for undertaking research work on stabilization of sand dunes and establishment of shelterbelts. DARS was reorganized as Desert Afforestation and Soil Conservation Station (DASCS) in 1957 which was renamed as Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI) in 1959. The institute was brought under the umbrella of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 1966.
CAZRI is the only institute in the country exclusively mandated for conducting research on issues of arid zone ecosystem. The mandates of institute include conducting basic and applied research on sustainable farming systems, to act as repository of information on the state of natural resources and desertification processes, developing livestock-based farming systems and range management practices, and generating and transferring location-specific technologies.
Apart from Jodhpur, research programmes of institute are also carried out from five Regional Research Station located at Bikaner, Pali and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan; Bhuj in Gujarat; and Leh in Jammu & Kashmir. In addition, institute has three Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Farm Science Centres) for undertaking frontline technology demonstrations. The institute also works in close liaison with international and national institutes; and other stakeholders working for the development of arid agro-ecosystem.
Institute undertakes a wide spectrum of research and development issues in the field of agriculture and allied disciplines in an integrated manner for sustainable land use and diversified livelihood options for the inhabitants of arid regions of India. Our focus in future would be developing more climate-resilient agriculture, enhancing farmers' income through development and delivery of suitable technologies, and controlling land degradation in environmentally fragile arid ecosystem.
Over six decades, institute's innovative approach and incessant efforts have greatly improved rural livelihoods in hot arid regions (~32 million ha area) of the country. We are now embarking upon cold arid regions (~7 million ha area).
Dr. O.P. Yadav