The KALRO Food Crops Research Institute was created under the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Act of 2013. The Institute's main focus is to generate, validate and release technologies on food crops to clients. It focuses on cereals (maize, wheat, sorghum, millet, and rice), grain legumes (dry beans, pigeon peas, green grams, dolichos) and root and tuber crops (potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, yams and arrow roots). In order to contribute to food security, the Institute has seven Centres which conduct research on basic, strategic, applied and adaptive research using the value chain approach from production, market and use.

The Institute is in Trans-Nzoia County that is known for its role in food production and particularly maize. The County is largely agricultural with large scale and small scale maize, horticulture and dairy farmers.