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.