It is a service unit tailored to provide professional agricultural, agribusiness and project management services to the department, government, farming community and the general agricultural industry and trade. It provides an information link between the farming community, research, trade and industry. It operates from Head Office and has Specialists at provincial level.
• Farm business planning
• Labour and Equipment Planning
• Farm enterprise and systems viability
• Project Planning
• Socio-Economic Research and Techniques
• Farm Management Data Bases
• Staff training and Materials development
1. Farm Management Extension
The branch advises the ministry, farmers and other stakeholders on the viability of various farm enterprises and systems. It gives guidance to local farmers on the preparation of enterprise, whole farm and cashflow budgets. It is our intention to give a complete package on farm management covering planning and evaluation, recognising that successful and economic farming hinges on these issues. The achievement of these objectives is highly dependent on the quality and amount of information available to our staff. The branch thus continuously collects and analyses relevant data. It is also paramount that the farmers keep and provide farm data for the benefit of developing sound farm management principles.
2. Marketing Information System
The market arena transforms farmers' efforts in production to financial returns and thus plays a vital role. Marketing planning and management are thus an integral part of day to day management activities. The branch assists in providing the needed information. Data is regularly collected from various marketing agents and places and this is made available to our clients. The branch is positioned to give relevant advice to new players and old alike.
3. Project planning and Management
One of the key vehicles of rural development is project work. To facilitate the successful planning and implementation of these activities the branch can provide the necessary planning, appraisal, monitoring, and evaluation assistance. The services also address vital issues including gender, social appraisal and participatory methods. Socio-economic research is carried out covering baseline studies, topical issues, technology uptake and communication.
4. Food security and early warning systems
The vulnerability of Zimbabwean agriculture to the vagaries of inconsistent rainfall patterns and other phenomena makes it important to have a hub of information that assists policy makers. The unit provides the required information through fortnightly reports, food security bulletins, mid-season, and end of season crop and livestock assessments. The human element of the problem is addressed through vulnerability assessments undertaken in partnership with other departments and organisations.
5. Agribusiness Development
The achievement of a vibrant rural economy requires that value added services and products are produced. At the farm level these activities may include agro-processing and storage. The branch provides an advisory service for farmers, individuals or groups who may want to invest in these enterprises.
1 Borrowdale Road, Harare
Phones: S. Chikobvu 04-793139, 795300