Matopos Research Inst
|Matopos Research Institute|
Matopos Research Station was established in 1903. During the next eleven years, various agricultural trials and demonstrations were conducted involving a variety of crops, mainly irrigated wheat and Lucerne, cattle and veld burning. Subsequently the land was farmed commercially until 1922. In 1923 the Department of Agriculture took over the farm and an agricultural institution including a School of Agriculture was set up. In 1934 it became an Experiment station. Cattle were the main subjects of investigation, though some crop research was also conducted. Presently Matopos Research Institute comprises an area of 28 000 hectares leased from the Rhodes Matopos Estate. Matopos Research Institute is managed by the Head of Institute with the support of professional, technical, administration and support staff. Its organization is structured along the following sections:
Location and geographical coverage
The Station is situated at longitude 28o30’E, latitude 20o23 at an altitude of 1340m above sea level. Matopos Research Institute is situated some 30 km south of Bulawayo adjacent to the Rhodes Matopos National Park. It is the largest of the four livestock research institutes of the Department of Research and Specialist Servicesin the Ministry of Agriculture Mechanization and Irrigation for Development.
The work of the station is primarily concerned with extensive and semi-extensive land use in an environment where rainfall is low to medium and highly variable. Research is directed towards developing technologies for sustainable livestock production, within a semi-arid environment, using rangeland and other feedstuffs. The management of rangeland, nutrition and the role of indigenous breeds of domesticated ruminants (both pure and crossbred) feature prominently now, as in the past. Early work focused on cattle but goats and sheep are now important components of the research programme, which has recently expanded to include poultry (indigenous chickens and ostriches). In addition there are drought power studies, which are concerned use of donkeys and cattle. Immediate beneficiaries to the research work are smallholder farmers.
As elsewhere in Zimbabwe the climate is characterized by a distinct wet season and a distinct dry season. The wet season lasts on average from mid-November to mid- march. Little or no rains fall during the rest of the year. The average annual rainfall for the past 40 years is 580mm.
The Station focuses in developing sustainable and environmentally-friendly technologies to improve livestock production through research.
Our mission is to improve the human welfare through poverty alleviation and attainment of food security