The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Professor Dr Amon Murwira and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Professor Fanuel Tagwira toured the Midlands State University’s agricultural enterprises and Industrial Park.
The Minister and his delegation visited the University’s Gwenoro Farm on the 17th and Pittscoat Farm, Kwekwe Campus Farm and the Industry Park on the 18th of September 2020 as part of a two-day familiarisation tour.
Speaking during his tour of the agricultural enterprises, Professor Murwira commended Midlands State University’s faculty, staff and students for their collaborative and holistic approach to agriculture and in running the institution’s farms in general. He underscored the need to realign the University’s teaching model to reflect a balance between practical and theoretical concepts in their degree programmes. This will equip graduates with skills that empower them to be innovative towards societal development.
“What l have seen today is ample testimony that MSU has successfully embraced Education 5.0. It is inspiring to see the many ways in which MSU faculty, staff and students work together in running the farms and expanding their production through ground-breaking research and expertise, which are also shared by students … to see this great impact up close is very impressive”, said Professor Murwira.
Professor Tagwira said the tour was an eye-opener and echoed the same sentiments as the Minister. He applauded the synergy between the MSU’s Faculty of Natural Resources Management and Agriculture, and the farm management led by Professor J Masaka and Mr J Mataruse respectively.
“To understand agriculture is to grasp the importance of its diversity in this institution. When we think about institutions sustaining themselves, we think about agriculture being the more productive option. The farm tour has caused us to see the work which is already in motion and to contemplate efforts through which the Government can assist”, he said.
Currently, the University’s Gwenoro Farm majors in citrus , horticulture and poultry production. MSU is the largest citrus producer in the Midlands Province and specialises in growing Palma Navel and Bohaenina Navel oranges. The Pittscoat and Kwekwe Campus farms, on the other hand, major in cattle ranching and pig production respectively.
The tour ended with a visit to the University’s Industry Park where the University is currently preoccupied with the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking at the end of their visit, Minister Murwira said, the tour had revealed the impact agriculture and industrial innovation have on the sustenance of the University and helped to strengthen the relationship his ministry has with those who support science, innovation and technology development.
Professor Murwira and Professor Tagwira were accompanied on their tour by the MSU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N Muzvidziwa, the University’s Principal Officers and various members of the University community.