National Agricultural Research Laboratories


Established in 1934, NARL has shaped agricultural research in Uganda and greatly contributed to the development of the agricultural sector and socio-economic development of the country. Throughout its journey the institution has evolved in mandate and structure to develop novel agricultural technologies and innovations, and solve agricultural challenges of the times.

NARL was established in 1934 and officially began undertaking agricultural research in 1937 on coffee, tea, cotton and native crops. Over the 86 years of its operation, the institute has undergone numerous changes to suit the political, social and economic environment of the country. The current structure of NARL is a result of the NAR Act, 2005 that designates the institute as one of NARIs with a mandate to carry out agricultural research of a strategic nature and national importance. Under the new mandate, NARL carries out strategic research on five areas: bananas; food biosciences and agribusiness; biosystems and agricultural engineering; soils, environment and agrometeorology; and biodiversity and biotechnology.

Currently, NARL is one of the sixteen (16) Public Agricultural Research Institutes (PARIs) spread across the country established under the NAR Act, 2005 that form NARO.


Crop technologies transforming livelihoods and fostering socio-economic development.


To innovate for sustainable agricultural transformation.


Coordinating, overseeing and guiding agricultural research in Uganda.


To increase total factor productivity and access to agricultural research products and services for inclusive growth.

Our Research Journey

Currently, NARL is one of the sixteen (16) Public Agricultural Research Institutes (PARIs) spread across the country established under the NAR Act, 2005 that form NARO. Under the Act, PARIs fall in two categories; National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs), and Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institutes (ZARDIs). The Act mandates NARIs to manage and carry out agricultural research of a strategic nature and of national importance while ZARDIs are required to manage and carry out agricultural research whether applied or adaptive for a specific agro-ecological zone.  In the conduct of their research activities, NARIs cover all aspects of agriculture including crops, livestock, fisheries, forestry, agro-machinery, natural resources and socio-economics.

NARL works closely with other PARIs, and other stakeholders in the National Agricultural Research System including Universities, International Agricultural Research Organizations, Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations, and the private sector. NARL is mandated to provide research and development services in the following areas: i) Food biosciences and agribusiness; ii) Biosystems and agricultural engineering; iii) Soils, environment and agrometeorology; iv) Banana; and v) Biodiversity and biotechnology.

A Guide Through Entebbe Botanic Gardens

It is hoped that this guide through the Entebbe Botanic Gardens will meet a long-felt public desire and that the numerous visitors to the Gardens will find it an inspiration as they wander through what can truthfully be described as one of the beauty spots of East Africa. The Gardens is a popular stop over for visitors to Uganda on their way from or to Entebbe International Airport. At just 34km from Kampala, the Gardens are also a popular place for the city dwellers to spend a weekend away from the routine noises and hectic chores of the city.The historic Botanic Gardens together with the National Genebank comprise the Plant Genetic Resources Centre of the National Agricultural Research Organization. The mission of the centre is to ensure the conservation, management and sustainable use of Uganda’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) while optimizing their full potential in contributing to national development goals.

Also hosted at NARL are other services offered by government institutions such as  the national seed testing laboratory, Sericulture laboratory, Weather Station, International Research Institutes including Korean Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA), International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), USAID Feed the Future management unit and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

Focus Areas of Research

The research mandate of NARL focuses on five programs which are National Banana Research Program, Soils environment and agro-meteorology Program, Food Biosciences and Agribusiness, Bio-systems and Agricultural Engineering Program and Biodiversity and Biotechnology Program.

National Banana Research Program

Banana research is undertaken by the National Banana Research Program whose mandate is to generate and promote improved banana varieties and practices that enhance banana productivity and utilization.

Soils, Environment and Agrometeorology Program

The soils, environment and agro-meteorology program mandate is to generate and promote tools, recommendations and technologies for improved soil and water management, sustainable land use and resilience to climate change.

Food Bio-Sciences and Agribusiness Program (FBA)

The Food Biosciences and Agribusiness program (FBA) seeks to generate technologies and innovations that reduce post-harvest losses and promote value-addition, food safety, nutrition and market access.

Bio-Systems and Agricultural Engineering Program

The mandate of this programme is to develop and promote bio-systems and agricultural engineering technologies that address constraints in production, processing and utilization of crops, livestock, fisheries and forest products in Uganda.

Biodiversity and Biotechnology Program

The mandate of this programme is to facilitate genetic resources conservation, generate integrated pest management and agricultural biotechnology applications. Plant genetic resources are important assets in Uganda’s quest for poverty eradication, food security, wealth creation, medical and industrial advancement.

Food Biosciences and Agribusiness Program

Products and Services at NARL

  • Provision of Agricultural Research Information
  • Soil Testing Analysis
  • Tissue Culture Laboratory
  • The Farm
  • Entebbe Botanical Gardens
  • Uganda National gene Bank (UNGB)
  • Insect Museum
  • Workshop for Agricultural Machinery
  • Food Processing Centre
  • Business Incubation Program
  • Conference Facilities
  • Agricultural Research Information Service (ARIS) of NARO

Interested? Reach out to us

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