Background to the Department of Research and Specialist Services (DR&SS)
The DR&SS was established in 1948. Its evolvement over time, but basically maintaining its primary mandate and functions, resulted in its consolidation into three Divisionsas follows: Division of Crops Research (with 6 institutes and a total staff compliment of 1062); Division of Livestock and Pastures Research (with 4 institutes and a total staff compliment of 627) and Division of Research Services (with 7 institutes and a total staff compliment of 674). The DR&SS is headed by a Principal Director, while each of the three Divisions is headed by a Director.
Research is an important vehicle for enhancing efficiency of agricultural productivity, production and agricultural development. Research-based information, technologies and products are targeted at improving agricultural performance under various physical and resource environments. On the other hand, agricultural regulatory services protect the nation’s agriculture by preventing uncontrolled introduction into the country of pests and diseases of quarantine importance, in addition to assuring the nation of quality agricultural inputs on the market.
To be among the leading agricultural research and services institutions of the world by 2020
To provide research-based technologies, knowledge and information to facilitate a sustainable and viable agricultural sector
The major mandate of the Department is to provide research-based technologies, technical information for advisory services and products for supporting enhanced agricultural productivity and production of various crops and livestock (with the exception of tobacco, tea, sugarcane, pigs and forestry). The technologies, knowledge and information are designed to (a) facilitate improved or increased productivity per unit area or per resource quantum, (b) protect Zimbabwe’s agriculturethrough provision of a dependable, effective, efficient and competitive regulatory service that prevents introduction of pests and diseases of quarantine importance and ensures availability of quality agricultural inputs and products, (c) deliver specialist services that promote sustainable agricultural and economic growth, (d) remove drudgery for farmers, speed up activities and save on time, physical and financial resources, (e) develop value addition technologies to primary products to increase farmers’ capacity to generate additional income, and (f) to facilitate the development of agriculture by commercializing research-based technologies.
Scientific integrity and excellence
Co-operation and collaboration with relevant institutions
Stakeholder focus and sensitivity
Honesty and ethical behaviour
Maintenance of diverse and healthy ecosystems
Diverse perspectives and knowledge - traditional, experiential and scientific
A desire to learn among staff and stakeholders
DR&SS’ Operational Approach
For maximum effectiveness, research functions are predicated on national priorities in response to changing needs from time to time. The approach used is mainly technology generation through applied and adaptive work on strategic needs, geared at problem solving and improvement of production efficiency. Research work is organized in programmes related to commodities, production systems, disciplinary expertise and requirements and needs of clients. Regulatory service delivery is guided by Acts of Parliament.