Former Save Conservancy Chairman, also former Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA) Chairperson, an Agricultural Expert of Note, Reapers CEO and Traditional Grains Producers Association Chairperson Mr Basil Nyabadza has implored the government of Zimbabwe to introduce specialists in every specific crop and not just lean on their degree in crop science.Mr Nyabadza revealed this in an exclusive interview with TechMag TV reinforcing the need to even have particular graduands and specialists eg a degree in sugarcane, a degree in banana’s, a degree in potatoes, a degree in ground nuts and in every particular export crop.
Speaking to TechnoMag’s Ross Moyo Nyabadza said it is important to make specialists and emulate what other developed nations have done instead of always exporting value
”we must have a degree in banana’s, a degree in groundnuts, a degree in sugarcane”, Nyabadza said.
He added “we must now maintain the thrust and remain people who are prepared to learn…we are running a marathon…there is much more to be done…if we had a graduate in ground nuts he will be well versed but a graduate in crop science its too many crops a jack of all trades and a master in none ..Minister Professor Murwira is a listening Minister…I was in Brazil before we started Chisumbanje..They went on to design machines from one crop…it’s not just about one crop …that’s the specialization…12 months of the year ..let’s graduate from growing maize alone…the next year we dedicate to export crops…”
The former ARDA boss said now Zimbabwe needs to graduate its education system bringing in business intelligence. On business intelligence if adopted in every university and the need to eliminate the export of bread, stop the export of mealie meal, stop the export of milk and indeed put an end to the export of beef/poultry products from one province to the other. Good example bread is made in Marondera transported to Bulawayo almost 800km away yet sold for the same price and only transporters benefit more than the FARMERS AND THE QUESTION IS WHY NOT MAKE YOUR OWN BREAD IN OTHER PROVINCES?,The amount of fuel consumed on a daily basis calls for the import of diesel.Why no set up shop in Bulawayo, in Masvingo and make bread there instead of wasting millions on fuel to transport bread alone and more so other products mentioned.
Nyabadza also mentioned that reserch should be prioritised for us to be able to value add our agriculture.He said
“we must pay a research levy..if you ask the ordinary Zimbabwean about greases coming out of groundnuts they won’t take you seriously..look better late than never. Africa has been declared a source of raw materials..what we need my brother is a degree in raw materials..then you find out through your students why are we exporting raw materials…why are we exporting tea…to prioritize getting our land back that is commendable…we are forever indebted to the first republic….this debate is testimony of that …you are a hunter you came sniffing around…guided by yesterday’s deeds, today’s deeds to build up tomorrow….what’s coming from Bikita…what’s coming from Tsholotsho…”
He spoke on decentralisation of our education, encouraging education 5.0 by Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Professor Amon Murwira to stop creating jack of all trades who are masters in none so that Zimbabwe may value add its own agriculture and be able to deduce for example in ground nuts alone the remaining 37 products we must be beneficiating instead of making only two products we have and make in Zimbabwe which are peanut butter and snacks.
From groundnuts we can make a substitute of diesel for fuel, glycerol for explosives, lubricants and greases, paint and printing ink, varnishes, in metal drawing and tanning, putty for windows, foam for fire fighting, insecticides or sprayed on water for insect control global pesticide, soaps and detergents, sprayed on fruit to delay spoiling, chemicals, which are billion dollar industries we are not tapping in or even taking advantage of equity from firms who buy raw materials of groundnuts from us.
Similarly from sugar cane alone Zimbabwe today should be boasting of E60 yet we are on E20.Brazil has nothing but sugarcane with machinery and equipment, engineers getting jobs on sugarcane or groundnuts so we beneficiate, value add and specialise.Nyabadza speaks of how the Chisumbanje Ethanol project with Billy Rautenbach was started after then CBZ Group CEO now Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe Dr John Panonetsa Mangudya helped set up the joint venture so Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans benefit from value adding and specialising in sugarcane to produce ethanol a good example of what specialists can do in any crop and not just being jack of all trades who cannot benefit country or themselves.
Nyabadza emphasized on the need to start on research and not neglect all the five vital aspects of agriculture development saying ,
”the graduation of Mai chimuti is the future in our country…founded on our European graduation system…our bankees are trained to look after a polished diamond they are not trained to look after an unpolished diamond..an unpolished diamond is Mai chimuti in the rurals.”
”Research is ongoing…we don’t regard research…we don’t put our money when it comes to research…”
”When we talk of development in agriculture there are five stages which are critical and intertwined..your research, production your processing your marketing, and consumption..in other words the by product that comes.”
””we tend to run to production forgetting about research”..”today we are under threat of climate change…we are by far an agricultural economy”, Nyabadza said.