Soil and Water Research Institute is one of the research institutes currently affiliated to the “Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization” of the Ministry of Agriculture. The Institute started its activities by soil studies in order to determine the land evaluation for irrigation in development of water resources and agricultural projects since 1952 with the establishment of an independent irrigation department affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture. The “Soil Fertility Department” was set up within the Ministry of Agriculture and in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the late 1950s to conduct research and extension work for the promotion of mineral fertilizer use in Iran. The name of Institute has changed to the Soil Science Institute since 1961.
Subsequent to the integration of the “Independent Irrigation Institute” in the newly-established Ministry of Water and Power in 1966, the Ministry of Agriculture founded the “Soil Institute of Iran”, pulling research staff members from both the “Independent Irrigation Institute” and the “Soil Fertility Department” to pursue the task of identifying and mapping the country’s agricultural soils and promote the efficient use of soil and water sources. With the emergence of the “Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization” as an effective tool of the Ministry of Agriculture in the 1980s and the implementation of comprehensive policy guidelines in addressing priorities and coordinating the activities of various research entities functioning within the Ministry of Agriculture, the “Soil Institute of Iran” assumed new functions and responsibilities in research under its present title of the “Soil and Water Research Institute (SWRI)”.
SWRI is responsible for conducting research programs in different areas of soil classification, soil physics, water management, soil fertility, plant nutrition, soil biology, soil quality and reclamation.