Agronomy research in the Department of Research & Specialist Services: Major research thrusts 1951-2000

  • D Hikwa Agronomy Research Institute, P. O. Box CY 550, Causeway, Harare
  • P Nyamudeza Save Valley Experiment Station, P. Bag 2037, Chipinge
  • T T Mashavira Cotton Training Centre, P. O. Box 530, Kadoma


Before its re-organization on 1 April, 1948, the Department of Research and Specialist Services (DRSS) consisted of several “Branches” and “Departments” including nine research units. From the turn of the 20th Century, most of the agronomic research in Zimbabwe was carried out at stations that constitute the present day DRSS. Notable among these, in the earlier part of the Century was the then Salisbury Experiment Station (present day Harare Research Station) where research had been going on since 1909 (Anon., 1969). The major focus of the research between 1909 and 1950 is well covered by Weinmann (1972 and 1975). This paper reviews the development of research stations and institutes in DRSS and the evolvement of their generic research thrusts between 1951 and 2000. The paper, however, does not give details of actual experiments due to space limitations. Annual reports of the different stations and institutions are referred to by the year of research rather than by the year of publication, as many of them were combined and printed some years after the original work was done.

The Zimbabwe Science News Volume 33(4) October- December 1999, pp. 87-106

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eISSN: 1016-1503