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Agricultural Research in the Sudan dates back to beginning of the last century. The earliest experimental farms were started at Shendi in 1902 and at El Kamlin in 1903 to explore the possibilities of growing irrigated cotton in the northern Sudan. Shortly afterwards, more experimental farms were started at Rumbek, Tonj and Wau, primarily to test cotton under rain-fed conditions in the southern Sudan. Organized scientific research was started in 1903 with the establishment of the Welcome Tropical Research Laboratories (WTRL). They were part of the Department of Education but their activities included chemical and entomological research related to agriculture. A year later, the Department of Agriculture established the Shambat Research Farm near Khartoum to conduct botanical and agronomic research in close cooperation with the WTRL.
Following the successful pilot schemes and experiments on cotton in the Gezira region, the Gezira Research Farm was established near Wad Medani in 1918 to cater for the problems of long staple cotton in the irrigated central clay plains. Since that time the Gezira Research Farm has served as headquarters for organizations of agricultural research that have gone through evolutionary changes in names and in scope. It was called the Agricultural Research Service in 1931-38, the name was changed to Agricultural Research Institute in 1939-1943, to Research Division in 1943- 1953 and to the semi-autonomous Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC) in 1967. In 2001, the ARC became part of the newly formed Ministry of Science and Technology which was established in 2001, by amalgamating several research institutions that existed within several Government Ministries.
The mission of the ARC is to plan, develop and implement research designed to produce technologies and systems that are required to ensure high and sustainable crop productivity, food security and export capacity. The vision of the ARC is to become a centre of excellence in agricultural research by developing skilled manpower and conducting quality research. The generation of technologies to ensure sustainable crop production and the active role in technology transfer are among pivotal roles of ARC.