Rwebitaba Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Rwebi ZARDI)


Rwebitaba is one of the nine government of Uganda Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institutes (ZARDIs) established under the Act of Parliament of 2005 and the policy guidance of National Agriculture Research Organization (NARO) as a way of addressing agricultural constraints in the Western Highlands Agro-ecological Zone (WHZ). 

Rwebitaba as a ZARDI started its operations in October 2011 to serve as zonal entity that undertakes applied and adaptive agricultural technology development and dissemination to different stakeholders in the Western Highlands Agro-ecological Zone.


A competitive society supported by a dynamic agricultural research innovation system.


To innovate for sustainable agricultural transformation.


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


To conduct applied and adaptive research and to facilitate dissemination of appropriate technologies to uptake pathways in the Western Highlands Agroecological Zone as well as to generate and disseminate tea technologies in Uganda.


  • Rwebitaba started as a Tea Research Centre, established in 1960 as a branch of Tea Research Institute of East Africa (TRIEA).
  • Rwebitaba station was the main tea breeding station for TRIEA before the collapse of the East African Community in 1977 that led to the closure of research activities in Uganda. 
  • The TRIEA stopped in 1978 with unconcluded research leaving Rwebitaba in the hands of Uganda Government.
  • With the establishment of the National Agriculture Research System (NARS) ACT 2005, the National Crops Resources Institute (NaCRRI) took over the administration of Rwebitaba in 2007 in order to revive tea research in Uganda.
  • From July 2011 NARO declared Rwebitaba a full Institute for the western highlands agro-ecological zone comprising; Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Kasese, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo districts. With creation of new districts, Bunyangabu and Kitagwenda were put under Rwebitaba ZARDI.


Rwebitaba ZARDI is located in the Mid-western Uganda and covers Rwenzori region districts of Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Fortprtal Tourism City, Kasese, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo districts. With creation of new districts, Bunyangabu and Kitagwenda.

The institute has two research stations; Rwebitaba Tea Research Station situated in Kyenjojo which is about 20km from the Heart of Fortportal Tourism City and Kyembogo Research Station, in Kabarole district which is about 8km from the Heart of Fortportal Tourism City. 

Objectives of Rwebitaba

  • To comprehend constraints, opportunities and component interactions in the farming system of Western Highlands Agro-ecological Zone.
  • To conduct basic, applied and participatory adaptive research and generate appropriate  technologies for dissemination to uptake path-ways.
  • To provide and process feedback between farmers, researchers, extension staff and other partners in order to identify and respond to zonal specific and emerging production and marketing constraints.
  • To contribute to multiplication of foundation seed for distribution to farmers and other research partners.
  • To generate and disseminate tea technologies country-wide.
  • To establish and strengthen collaboration and linkages in order to exploit synergy in research and uptake of technologies.

Institute Programs/Activities

Crop and Natural Resources Research Programme

Animal Resources Research Programme

Technology Promotion and Outreach Research Programme

Agribusiness Programmes at Rwebitaba ZARDI

Like any other ZARDI, RWE-ZARDI faced a problem of funds to meet administrative, research and development needs, funding from Government and development partners has always been inadequate and at times there is a delay in its release.

It has been therefore very important now for this institute to initiate income generating projects through agribusiness to supplement government and donor support, guided by having a bank account where the income generated from for all the enterprises at the institute can be deposited. 

Therefore the five initial income generating project units of the Institute includes but not limited to; crops, livestock & animals, woodlot & seedlings, Trainings (workshops & use of institute facilities) and Machines (Maize huller, feed mill and grinding mill) to mention but a few.


Dr. Robooni Tumuhimbise

Director of Research

David Mununuzi

Program Leader Animal Resources Research Program

Dr. Tadeo Kaweesi

Programme Leader Crop and Natural Resources Research Programme

Dr. Kenneth Akankwasa

Programme Leader Technology Promotion and Outreach

Our Partners

Our partners include; Intergrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD), District Local Governments of the 10 districts in the zone (Kabarole, Fortportal Tourism City, Bunyangabu, Kasese, Kamwenge, Kitagwenda, Ntoroko, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa and Bundibugyo). Others are CIP (International Center for Potato), KOPIA (Korean Program for International Agriculture) and many others.

Our Products

  • NARO Green Tea Powder
  • Naro Green Tea Beverage
  • Rwebitaba Honey.

Interested? Reach out to us

We always enjoy reading feedback about our activities, whether an idea for an article or a suggestion for something we should do…