The ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute,Coimbatore is the premier and one of the oldest agricultural institute under the ICAR, Established during 1912. The institute had been largely responsible for meeting the sugarcane varietal requirements of the country for past ten decades with dual mandate of developing improved sugarcane varieties and also supporting the sugarcane breeding programmes of over 23 sugarcane research stations in the country.
The Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Regional Centre, Karnal was established as early as 1932 to act as a liaison with the main Institute at Coimbatore, and with a view to securing first hand knowledge about the performance of various Coimbatore seedlings /canes and their parents under the sub-tropical conditions. This centre acts as a prism through which main Institute at Coimbatore observes and evaluates the behaviour of Co canes under the climatic conditions of North throughout the year.This regional centre has several landmark achievements to its credit.
This Regional Centre is located on the National Highway No.1 about 130 km North of Delhi. The location stands at 29.1-29.50 N and 76.3-77.10 E, at an elevation of 243 m above mean sea level. The climate is sub-tropical with mean maximum temperature ranging between 34-390 C in summer and mean minimum temperature ranging between 6-70C in winter.
The Research Centre at Kannur (Kerala, India) is a constituent unit of Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore. This centre houses the world collection of sugarcane germplasm. This world collection was originally established at Canal Point, Florida, U.S.A. The need for duplicating the collection in another location was felt and based on the resolution of International Society of Sugarcane Technologists (ISSCT) in 1956, the Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore was recognized as another centre for world collection of sugarcane germplasm. The seed material of the entire world collection at Canal Point was airlifted during 1957-58 to Coimbatore and were initially maintained at the Agricultural Research Station, Thaliparamba in Cannore District, Kerala. In 1961, a research centre was established at Kannur (also known as Cannanore) as the West Coast Regional Centre of Sugarcane Breeding Institute and the collection maintained at Thaliparamba was shifted to Kannur. At present the centre houses the largest collection of Saccharumspecies germplasm and is an IPGRI designated field gene bank of sugarcane.
The germplasm assembly at SBI Research Centre, Kannur now consists of 1806 accessions under international collection and 1562 under Indian collection. The International collection comprises of S.officinarum (759), S. barberi (42), S. sinense (30), S. robustum (145), S. spontaneum (67), foreign hybrids (611) and allied genera (152). The allied genera include a large number of Erinathus arundinaceusclones from New Guinea and Indonesia collected during 1976 and 1977. The Indian collection comprises Indian hybrids (1027), allied genera and others (88), S.spontaneum (317) and IA clones (130).The Indian hybrids consists of mainly Co canes developed at the main Institute at Coimbatore and clones released by other research centres in the country. The IA clones are hybrids between American commercial hybrids and Indian S. spontaneum clones. Large number of S.spontaneum, Erianthus and related species collected through expeditions in north-eastern region of the country from 1981 to 1990 are maintained as Indian collections.