The National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) was established by National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) on 3 November, 1977 under Societies Registration Act, 1860 at New Delhi. Head Office & Registered Office of NHRDF is at New Delhi. The aim of establishment of NHRDF was to guide the farmers, exporters and others concerned for improving the productivity and quality of horticultural crops in order to make available sufficient quantity for domestic requirement and also to boost up export of onion and other such export oriented horticultural crops in the country. Onion was the first crop on which the NHRDF has started its Research and Development programmes to meet the above mentioned aim and subsequently garlic, okra, chilli, French bean crops etc. have been added. The NHRDF initially started as a small centre at New Delhi in 1978 and now it has 5 Regional Research Stations, Laboratories on different aspects and 18 Extension Centres spread all over the major onion and garlic growing pockets of the country. It has also established one Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Ujwa in New Delhi to cater the needs of farmers of Delhi State.
One Model Post Harvest Research Complex (PHRC) at Lasalgaon (MS) having 10 handling sheds of 100 MT capacity each, 20 modern storage godowns of 50 MT capacity each have also been established by NHRDF for training and providing infrastructural support to onion growers, traders, and exporters on post-harvest management of onion. The seed processing plants are established at Lasalgaon (Maharashtra), Rajkot (Gujarat), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Karnal (Haryana) and Deoria (Uttar Pradesh). The seed stores with controlled temperature and humidity facilities are also established at Lasalgaon and Chitegaon in Nashik district of Maharashtra; Janakpuri in New Delhi; Rajkot in Gujarat; Karnal in Haryana; Indore in Madhya Pradesh and Deoria in Uttar Pradesh. These are used for storage of vegetable seeds, including onion seeds produced by NHRDF under its developmental programmes.
The NHRDF has standardized production, protection and post-harvest technologies for growing onion and garlic in different regions. Popularization of improved varieties of onion and garlic, quality seed production and distribution of their varieties all over the country through well spread extension network has been well recognized by the Govt. of India. The NHRDF is also conducting Research and Development activities on all aspects of crop production, protection, seed technology, post-harvest technology and also transfer of technology of onion and garlic crops. The NHRDF since its inception is also engaged in quality seed production and distribution of important vegetable crops particularly onion, garlic, okra, potato, French bean, chili etc. as a service to the farmers.
The NHRDF has now grown up as an Institute of national and international fame in the field of onion and garlic research. The Research and Development work carried out by the NHRDF particularly in crop production and post-harvest technology of onion and garlic has helped the country to come out of the crisis of these crops many times. The NHRDF carries out its Research and Development programmes with the guidance of its Scientific Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Dy. Director General (Horticulture), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) consisting of eminent scientists from different disciplines as members.