The government has urged seed houses to invest in research and development as a way of responding to ever-changing climatic conditions.

As the country moves to consolidate the 15.2 percent agriculture sector growth, seed houses have been challenged to invest more in research and development.

Officiating at a crop field day in Mazowe, Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri, who was representing Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said agriculture has been highly prioritised as a driver of economic growth and contribution by seed houses will be key in this pursuit.

“Agriculture is a key contributor to the economy and will be critical in building a middle income economy, but to achieve this seed houses should invest in research and development. I urge them to work with universities and crop research institutes to produce new varieties,” he said.  

Agriseeds Managing Director Mr Simon Nyanhete said they will be introducing new varieties for pastures and other crops in line with government’s call.

“Soon we will be getting into other products like vegetables, pastures and wheat,” said Mr Nyanhete.

Government is now promoting production of pastures for use in animal husbandry following escalation of the command livestock, wildlife and fisheries programme.

Figures from the Lands Ministry show that 70 percent of fully developed cattle are determined by adequate feed while the rest is determined by quality of breeds.