The Arid Zone Research Institute, Bahawalpur, a Multidisciplinary Research Establishment of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council was established as a Sub-Station of AZRC, in 1974. It was upgraded in 1997 and renamed as Arid Zone Research Institute.
The institute is playing the pivotal role in knowledge generation & transfer by generating the resource conservation technologies in the region through conducting need based and innovative research with special reference to introduction, selection and propagation of drought & heat tolerance in high value medicinal plants, pulses, cereals, oilseeds, arid horticultural plants through value addition, fodder crops, range grasses, shrubs and trees for the restoration and rehabilitation of Cholistan desert, to enhance the productivity of marginal arid lands and to uplift the socio-economic condition of the farming communities in the region. The institute has started innovative research on new intervention on high efficiency irrigation system and effective use of biogas technology to mitigate drought and heat stress. By implementing the recommendations of the third-party evaluation, the institute has been declared as a coordinated unit of national commodities programs of all fields and horticultural crops. The institute has been conducting innovative research on the following key research areas.