Ngetta ZARDI

Sale of Shea nuts in Amach market, Alebtong District

Ngetta ZARDI

P. O .Box 52, Lira

Office: 0414-690335 / 0437 427748


Ngetta Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (ZARDI) is one of the 9 zonal NARO institutes mandated to manage and carry out applied and adaptive research relevant to the needs of farmers in the mid-Northern and Northern agro-ecological zone comprising 17 districts in Acholi and Lango Sub-region.

The institute is led by the head of Research, with an advisory board.


The main station is located 5Km’s on the Lira – Kitgum Highway with a land area of about 221 hectares (550 acres) and a satellite station on the outskirts of Kitgum Town covering 70.8 hectares (175 acres). The Institute is mandated to manage and carry out applied and adaptive research relevant to the needs of farmers in the mid-Northern and Northern agro-ecological zone comprising of 17 districts.

Historical Background

Not much documentation is available on the history of Ngetta but information shows that during post world war 11, It was used as a settlement and re-orientation site for war veterans. Then in the 1950s, the colonial government passed it on to the department of agriculture for teaching farmers in the area better farming practices.

After independence, the government upgraded it to a District Farm Institute (DFI) under the Ministry of Agriculture to serve the then Lango district. In 1999, its ownership and management were transferred to National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and the name changed to Ngetta Agricultural Research and Development Centre (ARDC).

As a public agricultural research institute, Ngetta ZARDI is a semi-autonomous institute under the supervision and guidance of an Advisory Committee with the Director of Research as the head of the institute.

A woman earning a living by selling fresh cassava tubers by the roadside in Lira

Present Mandate

“To carry out applied and adaptive research for the mid-northern and Northern agro-ecological zone”. To achieve this, the institute is challenged to develop and promote demand-driven and market-responsive technologies, ensure efficiency and effectiveness in collaboration with stakeholders”.

In pursuit of its mandate, the institute carries out research and development activities through on-station and on-farm participatory research, information sharing and exchange, and demonstrations in partnership with other research service providers e.g. Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), and the District Extension Service.

Presidential Directive

A presidential directive preventing the cutting of Shea trees was issued in 2002 to all district local governments but the implementation is facing a slow and upheaval task. The shea nut tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) is a tree species indigenous to the sub-Saharan region of Africa north of the equator. It grows wild across the continent from Senegal in the west through to Uganda, particularly in the east and northern region. It takes about 25-30 years to bear fruit and is in danger of becoming extinct due to the high demand it has as a source of fuel (Charcoal). NARO through the agroforestry scientists in Ngetta have embarked on research to propagate Shea tree seedlings to make them readily available for planting and also to reduce the maturity period by half through a technique called air layering.

A Shea tree that was propagated by Ngetta ZARDI

Focus Areas of Research

There are three programs under which the research agenda is being implemented in the Institute; Crop and Natural Resources Research, Livestock and Fisheries Resources Research and Technology Promotion, and Outreach.

Gloria Mutonyi (Agroforestry Technician) talking to farmers about Shea tree propagation
Women packing fresh cassava for the market after purchasing from the Institute
Harvesting of fish in the ponds at Ngetta ZARDI

Work with us

Volunteers and Internship: Ngetta ZARDI offers a platform for young scientists or students interested in Agriculture to apply for placements either as Volunteers or interns through the office of the director of Research.

Applications are addressed to the office of the human resource and administration officer. Terms and conditions for these placements are as per NARO’s Internship and Volunteer policy 2018.

Partnerships and Collaborations

Government of Uganda, World Bank, UK Aid, National Forestry Authority, District Local Governments, Academia, farmers, Local seed businesses.