The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) is a premier science institution that conducts research with partners, develops human capital and fosters innovation in support of the agricultural sector. It provides diagnostic, laboratory, analytical, agricultural engineering services, post-harvest technology development, agrochemical evaluation, consultation and advisory services, food processing technology services as well as various surveys and training interventions. Through its wider network of research institutes and experimental farms, the ARC provides a strong scientific base and a broadly distributed technology transfer capacity to the entire agricultural industry in South Africa.
The ARC was established by the Agricultural Research Act 86 of 1990 (as amended) and is the principal agricultural research institution in South Africa. It is a schedule 3A public entity in terms of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999, as amended by Act 29 of 1999.
The Act sets out the objectives of the ARC as conducting of research, development and technology transfer in order to:
• Promote agriculture and industry;
• Contribute to better quality of life;
• Facilitate/ensure natural resource conservation.
This function is carried out through 11 research institutes whose activities are grouped under five divisions: Field Crops (Grain and Industrial Crops), Horticulture, Animal Production and Health, Natural Resources and Engineering as well as Technology Transfer. The ARC is also responsible for maintaining national assets and undertaking programmes or rendering services that are required from time to time by the department and other stakeholders.
“Excellence in Agricultural Research and Development”
The ARC’s vision reflects its core business and celebrates its unique role, acknowledging its position as the principal agricultural research institution in South Africa.
The vision highlights the need to harness ARC capabilities to ensure that it becomes an organization known for its excellence in its core area of business.
“The Agricultural Research Council is a premier science institution that conducts research with partners,
develops human capital and fosters innovation to support and develop the agricultural sector.”
STATISTICS/ DEMOGRAPHICS/ HISTORY
Year founded: 1992
Trade affiliations: Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and International Centre for Development Oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA)
ARC business clusters: Animal health; animal production; field crops; horticulture and national resources; and engineering
BUSINESS & FINANCE
Financial year-end: 31 March
Major shareholder: Government of South Africa
Bank: Standard Bank
Auditors: Auditor General SA
Key clients: Farmers and other agricultural stakeholders
KEY SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES AND ARC SOLUTIONS
Issue: Renewable energy
Solution: Biofuels research
Issue: Soil health
Solution: Conservation agriculture technologies
Issue: Water management and irrigation
Solution: Combating salinisation, drainage and sub-surface drainage
Issue: Reduction and management of risks and disasters
Solution: Climate change coping and adaptation
Issue: Monitoring and characterisation of natural resources and ecological systems (including earth observation and remote sensing)
Solution: Land degradation assessments, modeling and monitoring; biodiversity management strategies