The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) was mandated with relevant research. KARI was the national institution bringing together research programmes in food crops, horticultural and industrial crops, livestock and range management, land and water management, and socio-economics. KARI promoted sound agricultural research, technology generation and dissemination to ensure food security through improved productivity and environmental conservation.
KARI was established in 1979 as a semi-autonomous government institution. The new institute continued research activities from the East African Agricultural and Forestry Research Organisation (EAAFRO), East African Veterinary Research Organisation (EAAVRO) and, finally, the Ministries of Agriculture and Livestock Development. In 1986, the Kenyan government recognised the challenge to meet long-term food production constraints in the country. The Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute (KEVEVAPI) and the Kenya Tripanosomiasis Research Institute (KETRI) had been integrated into KARI more recently. This was due to the recognition of the need by the government to further strengthen its agricultural research system to create an institutional framework to effectively manage, reorganise and consolidate agricultural research within the country.
By act of parliament the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) was established in 2013. It merged with KARI, Coffee Research Foundation, Tea Research Foundation and the Kenya Sugar Research Foundation and has oversight of 18 research institutes.