Rwebitaba Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Rwebitaba ZARDI) is one of the Public Agriculture Research Institutes under the regulation of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) mandated to undertake applied and adaptive agricultural research for the Western Highland agro-ecological zone. The districts the institute serves include, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko. The institute has two stations: One is Rwebitaba Tea Research Centre located at Rwebitaba in Kyenjojo District which is 21 Km from Fort Portal town on Fort Portal-Kampala road with sole mandate of undertaking tea research. The centre has 69 hectares of land with over 300 different tea clones, seedling tea and a field gene bank. Rwebitaba Tea Research Centre which was established in 1960 as a branch of the 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. TRIEA operations stopped in 1978 with a lot of unconcluded research leaving Rwebitaba in the hands of Uganda Government. The second station is located at Kyembogo, off Kijura road in Kabarole district 8 Km from Kabarole town where livestock and other crop research l take place. This station has over 200 hectares of land.
Rwebitaba Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Rwebitaba ZARDI) is one of the Public Agriculture Research Institutes under the regulation of the National Agricultural Research Organization.
With the establishment of the National Agriculture Research System (NARS) ACT 2005, the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) took over the administration of Rwebitaba in 2007 in order to revive tea research at Rwebitaba. To-date considerable research materials left by TRIEA have been recovered, through rehabilitation of teas and field gene bank, improvement of infrastructure, provision of basic facilities and equipment, and initiation of priority research experiments both on-station and on-farm. From July 1, 2011 NARO declared Rwebitaba a full Institute for the mid-western agro-ecological zone and has thus inherited the activities of NaCRRI. Rwebitaba ZARDI has four programviz: Tea research Program; Crops research program; livestock and fisheries program; and Livelihood and farming systems program. Because of the economic importance of tea in Uganda and the wider scope of activities within the zone, the tea research centre is to be maintained at Rwebitaba at the current station.
Nature of the Organization
Rwebitaba ZARDI establishment is provided for in the NARS ACT 2005, and is a semi-autonomous agency and body corporate under the policy guidance of the National Agricultural Research Organisation. The purpose of RweZARDI is to provide agricultural research services.