Zimbabwe: Farm Journal Revived

28 January 2022

Senior Agriculture Reporter

The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) has relaunched the Zimbabwe Journal of Agriculture Research to stimulate research and build a culture of scientific communication among stakeholders.

The journal is also expected to promote the wide use of research based practices in agricultural production.

It was last published 24 years ago.

ARC board chairperson, Dr Unesu Ushewokune-Obatolu, on Wednesday said agriculture was one of the mainstays of the economy and no meaningful development could take place if not accompanied by continuing research.

"Because of the absence of our local journal, our scientists were focusing elsewhere. They would take their articles out of the country.

"Fortunately, the articles will still be accessible but it is important to publish in our own journal that we can regulate its quality," she said.

Dr Ushewokunze-Obatolu said they were now resuscitating the Zimbabwe Journal of Agricultural Research.

"Communication within research is important. Research is searching for knowledge and at the same time developing technologies. Agricultural practice is much about knowledge that is harnessed through practice or developed as a result of research by scientists.

"Sometimes we adapt research findings that have been obtained elsewhere and we domesticate where it is appropriate to improve the efficiency of production, competitiveness of the products we put on the market.

"It is extremely important that as we are trying to improve production and competitiveness, we actually influence the value chain players who must use the knowledge and the technologies by having them able to access the knowledge sources what way to make knowledge available to them through publications," she said.

The journal used to be published bi-annually and ARC is hoping to improve and even continuously publish on the internet if resources permit.

ARC chief executive, Dr Xavier Mhike, said research was important in giving solutions to challenges being faced by people in the agriculture value chain.

"The journal is linking up different value chains of research to the linkages of extension information changes. We are also developing a website so we can do this journal online so it will come in real time with all research and relevant information being brought to the people at the right time.

"The research will be used to bring solutions which would be used by extension officers in helping farmers," he said.

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) country representative, Dr Martin Moyo, said having a journal was important for students, scientists and farmers and other people working in the agriculture industry including those rearing cattle, growing crops and in fish production.

"These people will be able to get knowledge which will enable them to develop and improve their businesses. We will now have our journal, as Zimbabwe, which can be used across the country," he said.

Dr Moyo said ICRISAT was running a research project called Zimbabwe Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Services which is being funded by the European Union.

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