The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement has acquired eight tractors and an assortment of implements as part of ongoing efforts to retool research institutions across the country.
The tractors are destined for horticulture, coffee, cotton, Lowveld, agronomy, crop breeding, Save Valley and Panmure institutions and will be used for tillage and general farm operations.
Duly’s Holdings presented the tractors which were commissioned by Lands Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri yesterday at the Department of Research and Specialist Services (DRSS).
In a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Minister Douglas Karoro, Minister Shiri said the tractors will increase research capacity.
He said research-based information, technologies and products are targeted at improving agricultural performance under various physical and resource environments.
“My ministry will continue to make great strides to ensure full recovery of the agriculture sector by making sure that there is increased institutional capacity to drive the agriculture transformation agenda.
“Research is an important vehicle for enhancing efficiency of agricultural productivity, production and agricultural development,” he said.
“For an agricultural research and service institution, laboratory and field equipment are critical for efficient and effective delivery of service to stakeholders. Essential national agricultural regulatory services such as soil testing, analysis of fertilisers, farm feeds and remedies for quality tracking and control; pesticide residues and seed quality characterisation to meet internationally accepted seed standard require the use of laboratory equipment.”
Minister Shiri said laboratory equipment was also critical for carrying out relevant analysis (plant pests and diseases, quality of products of research) in the course of providing specialist and advisory services.
He said laboratory equipment should be maintained regularly and replaced to ensure efficiency.
The minister expressed concern that 50 percent of the DRSS fixed laboratory equipment was old and could no longer cope with the increased volumes of samples being submitted for analysis.
“Such equipment is in dire need of replacement. It is prudent to acquire equipment that measures to the current advances in science so that new tests such as detecting presence and level of genetic modification in crops could be carried,” he said.
He urged the responsible institutions to ensure equipment was maintained and kept in good condition.
Duly’s Holdings managing director, Mr Cosmas Marimo said they were pleased to participate in nation-building through agricultural mechanisation.
“Our economy is agro-based, so any key player in the agricultural domain, contributes directly to the GDP of the nation.
“Today we present to you, tractors and field equipment to arm you in your constant fight to provide the much needed food on the table of more than 14 million Zimbabweans,” he said.