- The institute is a source of seed of pasture grasses and forage and pasture legumes for farmers wanting to improve their livestock production in Zimbabwe.
- The institute has set side at least 200 ha for its seed production programmes. The yield of pasture seed is very low, hence the requirement for a large land area.
- The institute has been identified by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) as having potential to supply pasture and forage legume seed to the SADC region, if additional investment is made. This was against the backdrop that:
ü Pasture seed is very expensive when imported from countries outside the African continent.
ü The sub-region has good sources of natural pasture grasses and legumes, whose productivity could be further enhanced through selection.
ü Regional supply of seed would be an additional source of revenue to complement the institute’s funding.
ü Currently, Australia is the only reliable source of pasture seed and it exports to many countries around the globe. However, their prices are beyond the reach of most, especially African farmers.
The demand for seed of pastures and forages by livestock producers has been increasing in recent years. The institute has made great effort to supply the seed within its current capability. However, optimum and increased seed production is hindered by lack of capital investment for purchase of appropriate machinery and equipment for planting, harvesting, cleaning and packing pasture seeds. This is an area that requires strategic investment, including installation of additional irrigation infrastructure for irrigating the pasture and forage seed crops.