Plant Quarantine Services Head Office - Mazoe



To contribute towards enhanced trade of pest-free agricultural products and national food security through research and services.


To be the leading Plant Regulatory Agency by 2020.

Overall Terms of Reference for Plant Quarantine Services

  1. Plant Pests and Diseases Act [Chapter 19:08]
  2. Warehouse Receipt Act [Chapter 18:25]
  3. Noxious Weeds Act [Chapter 19:07]
  4. Sericulture Act [ Chapter18:18]

Plant Quarantine Services (PQS) principal fields of research are:

  • Plant Pathology
  • Plant Entomology
  • Plant Nematology
  • Seed Pathology
  • Horticulture

PQS has an establishment of 262 staff who include Head of PQS, Chief Plant Quarantine Research Officer, Plant Quarantine Research Officers, Chief Plant Health Inspectors, Human Resource Assistant, Assistant Administrator, Accounting Assistant, Plant Health Inspectors, Assistant Plant Health Inspectors, Technical Assistants and Laboratory Hands.

PQS values;

1) Professionalism through provision of effective and efficient service to clients and key stakeholders nationally, regionally and internationally

2) Integrity, Transparency and History through commitment to the highest standards of ethics and moral behaviour through honesty, fairness and trust in all dealings

3) Respect and Teamwork through offering non discriminatory service and honour the rights for clients ensuring confidentiality as one Institute

Summary of PQS functions

  • Formulation and review of Plant Quarantine policies for the benefit of the agricultural industry in Zimbabwe.
  • Research and surveillance for generation and dissemination of new technologies and relevant agricultural information.
  • Conduct farmer and traders training on phytosanitary services including best farm practices and import and export procedures and requirements.
  • Carry out quarantine crop pests surveillance, assessments and Pest Risk Analysis for national early warning purposes.
  • Provide testing   services on plants including seeds and crop protection technologies
  • Enforcement and Monitoring of compliancy on destructing and plant dates for cotton, paprika and tobacco for the management of pests.

Research and Surveillance

Plant Quarantine Services carries out surveillance of pests of quarantine importance, and Pest Risk Analysis. Samples of pests are analysed in laboratories and identified. Results are used in facilitating for trade and updating pest lists of Zimbabwe.

Below are picture of surveillance work and analysis in laboratories.

Plate 1. Surveillance of pests in Nyanga

Potato Quarantine Area

Plate 2. Surveillance of pests in

citrus orchards

Plate 3. Fruit fly surveillance in

all parts of Zimbabwe

Plate 4. Laboratory analysis

of samples

PQS conducts research and surveillance on plant pests of quarantine importance for example fruitflies, Larger Grain Borer, Phaeramularea angolensis, cyst nematodes.

Farmers or growers who export their produce are given technical assistance by PQS officers during field inspections when the crop is at the vegetative growth stage. Glasshouse facilities are utilized for conducting research under a controlled environment. Plant bioassays, starvation tests, and screening of plants against specific pathogens is conducted. Information generated is disseminated to all stakeholders.

Plate 5. Glasshouse screening of pests for an imported

cabbage variety

Plate 6. Inspection of fresh cut flowers before export

at Harare International Airport

Inspection and Issuance of Plant Permits

Plant Quarantine Services has 18 External Plant Quarantine stations that are involved in inspection and issuance of Plant Permits for safe movement of plants and plant products without exposing the country to pests and diseases that are trade-related. The stations are Mazowe PQS, Harare International Airport, Harare Railways, Mukumbura Border Post, Nyamapanda Border Post, Forbes Border Post, Sango Border Post, Beitbridge Border Post, Maitengwe Border Post, Mphoengs Border Post, Plumtree Border Post, Pandamatenga Border Post, Kazungula Border Post, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls Border Post, Victoria Falls Airport, Kariba Border Post and Chirundu Border Post. Mazowe Head Office processes all commercial imports, exports and transit consignments while the non-commercial imports and exports are handled by the rest of the stations located at all ports of entry/exit which include railways, airports and border posts.

Crop Legislation enforcement

PQS has 14 Internal Plant Quarantine stations that are involved in crop legislation enforcement, inspection and registration of nurseries, warehouses, wood packaging processors and pack houses. The stations are located in Mazowe, Bindura, Shamva, Mutare, Chipinge, Masvingo, Karoi, Chinhoyi, Gweru, Chiredzi, Kadoma, Gokwe, Mukumbura and Middle Sabi.

Plant Health Inspector enforce paprika, cotton and tobacco planting and destruction dates. This is to ensure that pests do not spread from one season to another. The legislations for the three crops are summarised below.




Cotton slashing, destruction and planting dates


Slashing date

Destruction Date

Planting Date

South East Lowveld

01 August

15 August

05 October

Remainder of Country               

15 August

10 September

20 October