The ARC was established by the Agricultural Research Act 86 of 1990 (as amended by Act 27 of 2001) and is the principal agricultural research institution in South Africa.
Its core mandate as defined in the Act is to act as the principal agricultural research institution in South Africa so as to conduct research, drive research and development, drive technology development and the transfer (dissemination) of information in order to:
- Promote agriculture & industry
- Contribute to better quality of life
- Facilitate/ensure natural resource conservation
- Alleviate poverty.