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Research & innovation critical cog in agriculture

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Story by Wellington Makonese

AGRICULTURE sector stakeholders have pledged commitment towards delivering cutting edge research and innovation as a means of transforming the country’s agricultural sector and ensure food sufficiency.

Central to the country’s agriculture transformation strategy, is research and innovation in thematic areas such as animal health, soil fertility, farming systems and irrigation development.

As such, exhibitions at the inaugural agriculture research and extension symposium in Harare this Thursday spoke volumes to those developments with stakeholders noting that their contributions will ultimately change the face of agriculture in Zimbabwe.

Researcher Calisto Gwatirisa noted, ‘‘I realised that making feed is difficult we made formulations from those things what we find in our villages. The cost becomes lesser for the farmers to feed livestock.’’

Researcher Georgina Kwaramba said, ‘‘We want to increase our exports so we ensure quality of crops is good for the export market and those that come in, we focus on traditional grains fruits.’’

Government is keen on promoting innovative programmes that will promote agriculture development.

Chief Director in the Department of Research and Specialist Services, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development Dr Dumisani Kutywayo noted, ‘‘It is significant in that our researchers can innovate for our agriculture transformation systems, we have selected 10 shortlisted in different categories, our aim is that in the next year our researchers will be able to present what is required for achievement of Vision 2030.’’

Agricultural research remains a critical component particularly in the wake of climate change that is devastating various communities in in the Sub Saharan Africa.