NARI was established by an Act of National Parliament of PNG in July 1996 as a public funded, statutory research organization, to conduct and foster applied and adaptive research into:
- any branch of biological, physical and natural sciences related to agriculture;
- cultural and socioeconomic aspects of the agricultural sector, especially of the smallholder agriculture; and
- matters relating to rural development and of relevance to PNG.
Besides which, NARI is responsible for providing technical, analytical, diagnostic and advisory services and up-to-date information to the agriculture sector in PNG.
Following its establishment in 1996 and launch in 1997, the Institute was under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock but was brought under the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology in 2002.
Prosperous Papua New Guinea (PNG) Agricultural Communities
To promote innovative agricultural development in Papua New Guinea through scientific research, knowledge creation and information exchange
NARI's purpose (strategic objective) is to accomplish enhanced productivity, efficiency, stability and sustainability of the smallholder agriculture sector in the country so as to contribute to the improved welfare of rural families and communities who depend wholly or partly on agriculture for their livelihoods.
NARI has released 28 technologies to the agriculture stakeholders of PNG. Among them are improved crop varieties, information packages, pest and disease control strategies, improved methods of food crop farming, resource management initiatives, livestock development practices, and alternative crops. With the headquarters in Lae, Morobe province, NARI has five regional centres which are strategically located throughout PNG, according to the ecological zones.
In a short span of over a decade, NARI has emerged as a vibrant, dynamic and robust institution of high relevance to development in PNG and in the Pacific. In any one single year, NARI undertakes over 50 research and development projects; most of which are immediate and high impact projects for various areas and targets. These initiatives are undertaken in partnership with stakeholders including the farming community.