CHIREDZI - Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) Vice Chancellor, Professor Rungano Zvobgo said he is determined to open an agricultural research laboratory in the lowveld to equip sugarcane farmers with tangible skills on how to increase yields.
Speaking during a training workshop which saw almost 40 A2 farmers receiving certificates from the Department of Soil and Plant Sciences of GZU's Garry Magadzire School of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Prof Zvobgo said there was a need to equip farmers with more knowledge.
"It is important for us as a university to have a research station here and that is one of the things we are currently looking at. We want to bring in our farmers and provide them with sound advice on how to improve their yields," said Prof Zvobgo.
Professor Munashe Shoko from the university's Department of Soil and Plant Sciences said the research centre would make a contribution in the growth of agriculture.
"We want to have a success story here in Chiredzi and our focus is to make an impact. We will offer education at both certificate and diploma levels," said Prof Shoko.
Zimbabwe Sugarcane Development Association (ZSDA) chairperson, Edmore Veterai praised GZU's efforts to develop the economy of the lowveld.
"We are very happy with this novel idea from GZU. We have been farmers here for a long time but this is the first time to see stakeholders from the education system actively pushing for the transformation of this sector," Veterai said.
On the university's long term plans for Chiredzi, Prof Zvobgo said the objective does not end merely with the opening of an agricultural research centre alone, but would be expanded by the building of a school of agriculture and natural sciences and other critical faculties.news