about us


In 1981 the Commercial Oilseeds Producers’ Association (COPA) of the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) made the decision to buy an undeveloped property on the outskirts of Harare in order to create a research base for their members. Very soon afterwards they invited the Commercial Grain Producers’ Association (CGPA) to join their endeavours and the Agricultural Research Trust (ART) was created. The Trust was reinforced with the injection of additional capital by the Zimbabwe Cereals Producers’ Association (ZCPA) in 1983. More recently the Cattle Producers’ Association (CPA) contributed funding that gave them a seat on the Board of Management. The Trust was officially opened by the Minister of Agriculture the Honourable Denis Norman, M.P. in March 1983.


The Trust’s objectives as laid down in the original Trust Deed are inter alia to :

  • research row and horticultural crops and to provide land, management inputs and skills for the production of applicable results for the benefit of all farmers in Zimbabwe provide a contract research facility for any organisation requiring a service

  • demonstrate veldt and pasture management including intensive grazing of irrigated pastures

  • demonstrate commercial row crop, horticulture, cattle and pig production as practised by large scale producers

  • demonstrate and test agricultural machinery including irrigation systems

  • demonstrate farm management systems using computer software.

  • promote all aspects of agriculture through publications, reports, discussions, seminars, field days and visitor programmes

  • provide an on call extension service for all bona fide agriculturists and their agents.

  • more recently the Trust has endeavoured to become a fully self sustaining operation.


    Initially the Trust relied on financial support from founding commodity associations, in 1993 the Trust became fully independent and charges for all its services on a full cost recovery basis, making it a fully independent agricultural research and extension institute with a financial budget designed to cover recurring operational overheads, planned capital replacement and capital development costs. 

    The Trust is a non profit making institution and all proceeds are utilised to further develop the Trust.  This policy has enabled the Trust to remain self financing in extremely adverse circumstances and pursue it mandate of providing world class excellence to Zimbabwe.


    The Trust employs a Director and Six professional and technical officers supported by Three technicians and 65 junior staff who are all housed on the Trust Farm.

    A non executive Board of Trustees consisting of 5 prominent farmers hold the top position and they charge the Board of Management with all executive decisions.

    The Board of Management consists of an independent chairman, two independent members and the incumbent chairmen (or their nominees) of the four Commodity Associations who originally invested into the Trust. They are all farmers. The Director is an ex officio member of the Board of Management, which meets at least 6 times a year.

    In the past there was close formal liaison between the staff of ART and the Technical team of the CFU who were responsible for generating research projects in consultation with their farmer members through the Commodity executives and the Commodity Council of the CFU.  This liaison still exists, however the Trust is increasingly undertaking research projects specifically for major Seed Houses and Independently funded research is not receiving the attention that it should.

  • agricultural research trust

    Tel: +263 (0) 8611274366


    Calgary Close off Alps Rd, Pomona, Harare

    Email: artres@iwayafrica.co.zw - Research
    Email: artfarm@mweb.co.zw - Admin