In the imperial Gazetteer of India 1878, Pusa was recorded as a government estate of about 1350 acres in Darbhanbge. It was acquired by East India Company for running a stud farm to supply better breed of horses mainly for the army. Frequent incidence of glanders disease (swelling of glands), mostly affecting the valuable imported bloodstock made the civil veterinary department to shift the entire stock out of Pusa. A British tobacco concern Beg Sutherland & co. got the estate on lease but it also left in 1897 abandoning the government estate of Pusa.
Lord Mayo, The Viceroy and Governor General, had been repeatedly trying to get through his proposal for setting up a directorate general of Agriculture that would take care of the so and its productivity, formulate newer techniques of cultivation, improve the quality of seeds and livestock and also arrange for imparting agricultural education. The government of India had invited a British expert. Dr. J.A. Voelcker who had submitted as report on the development of Indian agriculture. As a follow-up action, three experts in different fields were appointed for the first time during 1885 to 1895 namely, agricultural chemist (Dr. J.W.Leafer), cryptogamic botanist (Dr. R.A.Butler) and entomologist (Dr. H.Maxwell Lefroy) with headquarters at Dehradun (U.P.) in the forest Research Institute complex.