Research Services Division


To protect Zimbabwe’s agriculture through provision of a dependable, effective, efficient and competitive regulatory service that promotes cooperation among agro-industries, farmers,government and other relevant stakeholders and assures the nation of quality agricultural inputs and products for sustainable agricultural and economic growth.

Major Functions

  1. Carry out seed and crop pest assessments for national early warning purposes
  2. Provide sanitary and phytosanitary services on plant imports & exports
  3. Provide testing and advisory services on animal feeds, agricultural chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides), seeds and crop management technologies
  1. Provide regulatory advisory services on seeds, crop production (residue destruction dates), registration and management of plant nurseries, agricultural chemicals and fertilizers.
  1. Disseminate new technologies and relevant agricultural information generated from research

Human Resource

In the main, the Research Services Division consists of agricultural and applied science researchers, whose role is to develop and test new information that supports provision of regulatory and specialist services. The researchers are underpinned by appropriately qualified technical staff with diplomas and certificates in agriculture, as well as support administrative and field staff.

Major Outputs

Broad outputs of Division include:

  1. Laboratory analytical support and advisory services to clients and stakeholders
  2. Quality seed on the market due to an effective seed inspectorate
  3. Managed and controlled migratory pests, resulting in reduced impact on crop- damage
  4. Support technologies for improved management and control of various crop pests,
  5. both in the field and in storage
  6. Reduced incidences of incursion into the country by plant pests of quarantine
  7. importance due to continuous quarantine support services to the agricultural industry
  8. Plant germplasm conserved for future utilisation for food and agriculture

Research Services Institutes and their Major Thrusts


Major focus

Plant Quarantine Service Institute

The institute is involved in the following programmes:

-Control of movement of plant and plant products into and out of Zimbabwe

-Enforcement of cotton, tobacco and paprika destruction dates (field inspections).

-Nursery inspections and field inspections for seed (maize & soya) production for export.

-Surveillance of pests of quarantine importance (Fruit flies, Larger Grain Borer, Phaeramularea angolensis).

-Training of stakeholders on Phytosanitary requirements for import and export commodities

-Training of Plant Inspectors on the One Stop Border Operations at Chirundu)

-Training of newly recruited Plant Health Inspectors and Assistant Plant Health Inspectors responsible for internal agricultural quality inspections for three months.

Seed Services Institute

The current coverage levels of the institute is country-wide, servicing about 21 seed houses, 374 wholesalers and 2 057 seed dealers. Seed Services is centralised inhibiting the enhancement of seed production services.

The institute is involved in the following programmes:

-Seed quality control and laboratory proficiency (ISTA samples) testing

-Inspection of field seed crops and seed house premises

-Conduct at least one winter and one summer season post control evaluations

-Recognition of seed varieties

-Seed Licensing

-Conduct collection mission for weed seed and participate in weed identifying

Fertilizer, Farm feeds and Remedies

The Unit is involved in the following functions:

-Inspections of fertilisers imported by individuals. Fertiliser and pesticide inspections and analysis

-Inspections of the feed producers to monitor quality and enforce registration of feeds

-Analysis of various soil samples brought by farmers

-Registration of all pesticide and agricultural chemicals

-Licensing of fertiliser and pesticides companies

-Analysis of fertilisers, agric. lime, farm feeds and irrigation water for projects

Plant Protection Research Institute


Chemistry and Soil Research Institute

The institute has dual functions of carrying out analytical services and performing agricultural research in support of agricultural activities and crop production. Its 4 sections perform the following functions:

a) Crop Nutrition Section – Conducts soil testing, provides lime & fertiliser recommendations for crop production, diagnoses plant nutrition deficiency by analysing foliar on all crops

b) Pedology and Soil Survey Section – Conducts soil resources surveys for agric. development (irrigation or dam construction) and natural resources assessment ( national parks and environmental impact assessment)

c) SPRL – Evaluates responses of various crops to different forms of fertilisers on different soils, and is also responsible for production and selection of effective inoculants for soybeans, groundnuts and other various legumes

d) Special Analysis Laboratory – Controls levels of toxicants (pesticides, aflatoxins, cyanide etc) in agricultural products and checks levels of active ingredients in pesticides. This lab is centred on monitoring environmental pollution by toxicants and investigates possible implications if levels of these toxicants accumulate in the ecosystem.

Genetic Resources and Biotechnology Institute

The institute is charged with national plant genetic resources collection, characterization & conservation, both in cold store (ex-situ) for materials that can be stored in seed form and in the field (in-situ) for vegetative-propagated materials. The biotechnology component is a recent introduction and the expected type of research will be initiated once appropriate staff has been recruited

National Herbarium and Botanic Garden

The institute’s major thrusts are on preservation of plants, mainly trees and shrubs to support studies with a plant focus; conducting research in the classification and naming of plants; preservation of the national plant collection for reference and research; provision of plant advisory services on plant names, plant identification and plant uses.

Divisional Head Office

Planning, coordination, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects in the Division