Government has been urged to channel at least one percent of the national gross domestic product (gdp) towards research and development to accelerate industrialisation and economic development.

Zimbabwe is channelling a paltry 0.3 percent of its gdp towards research and development instead of the one percent advocated by the African Union thereby affect industrial and economic development, says the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) interim chief executive officer Dr Leonard Madzingaidzo.

Dr Madzingaidzo who was speaking at the side-lines of the parliamentary portfolio committee on higher and tertiary education, science and technology said research and development is a key driver for economic development that has seen many countries speeding up economic development.

Parliamentary portfolio committee on higher and tertiary education, science and technology chairperson Dr Peter Mataruse said parliament will lobby government to improve its support for research and development funding among other measures aimed at promoting industrialisation and economic growth.

The tour by the parliamentary portfolio committee on higher education comes at a time when SIRDC has developed drought resistant maize seed varieties that require less fertilizer.