1. Background, Location and Geographical Coverage
Henderson Research Institute is a government institution under the Department of Research and Specialist Services (DR&SS) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development (AMID). The institute is 2200 ha in extent, comprising approximately 450 ha of arable land of which 25ha is potentially irrigable. In terms of land area, Henderson Research Institute is the smallest of the four (4) livestock research institutes in DR&SS.
Henderson Research Institute was acquired by government for research purposes in 1947. The institute primarily carries out livestock research in the following disciplines: pasture, dairy, animal nutrition (beef and small ruminants), poultry and fisheries productions. Estate, laboratory and administration sections support these disciplines. The institute also houses sister institutes, such as Plant Protection Research Institute, Weeds Research Team and Extension counterparts of AGRITEX Mazowe District.
Henderson Research Institute is situated 30km north of Harare, between longitude17o 35` S and latitude 300 58`E. Rivers and small dams in the catchment area supply water for irrigation. The institute is located 1,300 metres above sea level. Henderson Research Institute is in agro-ecological region IIb with an average rainfall of about 870 mm per annum. This geographical location dictates that the institute conducts livestock research suitable for the high rainfall/ high potential area where intensive production predominates.
The vision for Henderson Research Institute is to be recognized as a national, regional and international center for excellence in research for improved livestock production.
To conduct effective research to develop and produce breeding, feeding and sustainable management technologies that will enable the livestock industry to compete in national, regional and international markets
Promote forage seed production, distribution and appropriate pasture production and utilization strategies
Promote the livestock industry through up-keep, maintenance and distribution of animal genetic resources i.e., dairy, beef, sheep, goats, poultry, sheep and fish with the ultimate aim of enabling the industry to increase production thereby improving livelihoods, food security, income generation capacity, poverty alleviation and sustainable management of natural resources.
4. Core Functions
The core functions of Henderson Research Institute are to develop technologies for sustainable intensive livestock production systems within the high rainfall region/ agro-ecological regions II and III (Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West and parts of Midlands) using veld, improved pastures, homegrown crops and their residues. To further this cause the institute has the following objectives:
Analyses of constraints and opportunities for agricultural change and formulate appropriate research priorities and programmes to meet client needs
Development, conservation, utilization and production of animal and plant genetic resources for distribution to the agricultural industry
Creation of links with various stakeholders in the agricultural industry to facilitate joint problem identification and solving
Dissemination and scaling up of (new) research-based technologies and relevant agricultural information
Commercial production of agricultural products to generate funds to support research activities and maintenance of capital items and infrastructure