KALRO - Kiboko Research Centre was established in 1969 as a research station charged with the responsibility of undertaking national range research which entailed undertaking work on applied research on specific constraints affecting rangeland productivity and eventually develop appropriate technologies, recommendations, techniques, and knowledge system that would solve/mitigate production set-backs. That involved research in range management, range utilization and improvement of rangelands for increased livestock productivity on sustainable basis.
In 1989 the station joined the then Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) from Scientific Research division (SRD) under MoA&LD and continued with its assigned mandate of range research in the southern rangelands with semi-arid conditions. From 1989 to 2003, research activities were supported by funding from European Union (EU), and GoK. The EU funding sustained implementation of NARP I and ARSP II programs. This support was resumed in 2007 under Kenya Arid and Semi-arid Lands (KASAL) research programme up to the end of 2010. Currently the EU continues to fund another phase of research program, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Agricultural Productivity Project (ASAL-APRP) under Kenya Rural Development Programme which came to an end in April 2017. The donor funds have been used to enhance research capacity through physical infrastructural development, purchase of research materials, training scientists, and more importantly initiating and supporting up-scaling on-farm adoption research for increased agricultural productivity. In 2014 when KALRO was created through an act of parliament, Kiboko Centre was elevated to become the headquarter for Arid and Rangelands Research Institute (ARLRI).