As a research institute, the role of ILETRI began before the Independence Day through Experimental Station or Kebun Percobaan (KP) in some areas in East Java. Dealing with the changing of strategic environment and the development demands, the institution changed its name, mandate and working area until it becomes ILETRI.
In 1968, the government established the Central Institute of Agricultural Research or Lembaga Pusat Penelitian Pertanian (LP3) in Bogor, and the Experimental Stations (KP) were integrated in the East Java LP3. In the same time, LP3 changed into Indonesian Center for Food Crops Research and Development (ICFORD) or Pusat Penelitian dan Pengembangan Tanaman Pangan (Puslitbangtan) in 1980, East Java LP3 was renamed into Malang Research Institute for Food Crops (Balittan Malang) with a mandate to conduct research of food crops (rice and pulses), with working area in East Java and East Indonesia.
Since December 13th, 1994, Balittan Malang turned into Balai Penelitian Tanaman Kacang-Kacangan dan Umbi-Umbian (Balitkabi). With this new status, a commodity handled by ILETRI was focused on a variety of legumes and tuber crops, but the working area was widened into the national territory (all areas of Indonesia).
On March 11th, 2013, through the Minister of Agriculture’s Decree No. 23 / Permentan / OT.140 / 3/2013, Balai Penelitian Tanaman Kacang-Kacangan dan Umbi-Umbian turned into Balai Penelitian Tanaman Aneka Kacang dan Umbi with the same abbreviations, Balitkabi. The mandatory commodities and the working areas were unchanged.