By Farai Matiashe
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged to continue supporting the Research Council of Zimbabwe to ensure it remains more robust in the co-ordination, promotion and supervision of research in the country.
Addressing the 12th Zimbabwe International Research Symposium in Harare yesterday, Mnangagwa said research was essential to economic development through innovation, increased production, efficiencies and effectiveness.
“Research is the key to our desire for efficiency in the rebuilding of our economy. My government, therefore, remains committed to support and facilitate platforms such as this one to enhance the nexus between our country’s growth trajectory and research across all sectors of the country,” he said.
“My administration remains committed to invest in research and development through the allocation of 1% of GDP [gross domestic product] towards research. The 0,3% allocation in the 2019 budget must be seen as a first stem which will improve incrementally going forward.”
Mnangagwa said for research to be meaningful, its findings should never be merely for academic purposes, but should be disseminated for utilisation by the end users, such as policymakers, industry, entrepreneurs and investors.
He said there was need for researchers to focus on agriculture, considering the country survives on agro-based economy.
“Due to the centrality of the agriculture sector to the economy, we challenge increased research into seed varieties, crop, and animal disease management as well as climate change mitigation strategies. Equally important is to continuously explore avenues on how we can improve our agriculture yields, adaptable agriculture technology for all our farmers,” Mnangagwa said.