The Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute is a premier institute of Indian Council of Agricultural Research engaged in research, training and extension activities on sheep and rabbits. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. It was established in 1962 in the hot semi-arid region of Rajasthan at Malpura. Now campus is known by the name of Avikanagar. The mandate of CSWRI is Basic and applied research on sheep husbandry. Dissemination of technologies for sheep productivity enhancement and management. The campus is spread over an area of 1591.20 hectare. The Institute has sanctioned posts of 87 scientists, 141 technical, 83 administrative and 151 supporting staff. It has three Regional Research stations in different climatic zones of the country: North Temperate Regional Station (NTRS) in temperate region at Garsa, Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, Southern Regional Research Centre (SRRC) in sub temperate region at Mannavanur in Tamil Nadu and Arid Regional Campus (ARC) at Bikaner in the arid region of Rajasthan.
Network Project on Sheep Improvement (NWPSI) was initiated on 1.4.1990 for survey, evaluation and improvement of indigenous sheep breeds under native environment. All the centres of All India Coordinated Research Project on Sheep Breeding (AICRP‑SB) were converted into NWPSI Centres. Different breeds of sheep are being improved through selection and inter-se mating for improved wool and mutton production. During 2017-18, there are six centres of NWPSI including four farm based units at ARC (CSWRI), Bikaner (Marwari, Carpet wool), CIRG, Makhdoom (Muzaffarnagri, Dual type), MPKV, Rahuri (Deccani, Dual type) and SVVU, Palamner (Nellore, Mutton) and two field based units at TANUVAS, Kattupakkam (Madras Red, Mutton) and ARC (CSWRI), Bikaner (Magra, Carpet wool). Project Coordinating Cell is located at ICAR-CSWRI, Avikanagar. The mandate of NWPSI is survey of indigenous sheep, their genetic evaluation and improvement. The objectives of NWPSI is Genetic improvement of indigenous sheep breeds by selection. The technical programme aims at improvement of indigenous sheep breeds under farm conditions. Breeding rams of high breeding value are produced from farm based unit every year for germplasm distribution.
The Mega Sheep Seed Project was started on 1st April, 2009. The project has five cooperating units namely KVAFSU, Bidar for Mandya sheep, RAJUVAS Bikaner for Sonadi sheep, TANUVAS, Chennai for Mecheri Sheep, ICAR-CSWRI, Avikanagar for Malpura sheep. The project coordinating (PC) unit is located at ICAR-CSWRI, Avikanagar. The main objective of the project is improvement of indigenous sheep breeds by propagation of superior germplasm in the farmers’ flock. In XI plan, the project started with the objective to produce 80 breeding rams of each breed every year to cover about 8000 breedable ewes for enhancing quantity and quality of meat and/or wool production, capacity building in SAUs /ICAR institute/ NGOs to produce improved breeding rams, linking small holders with organised market and paving the way towards public-private partnership. During XII Plan, the objective was revised to produce and distribute 50 superior breeding rams to cover atleast 2500 breedable ewes annually by each unit.