The Korea Partnerships for Innovation of Agriculture (KOPIA) Zimbabwe Centre has a new Director effective 1 April 2023. The new Director, Dr Kim Young-Bok, succeeds Dr Choi Young-Sup whose term of office ended in March 2023 after serving for five years. We welcome the appointment of Dr Kim Young-Bok and wish him the best in his new assignment.
SIRDC thanks Dr Choi Young-Sup immensely for his dedication to the development of small scale rural farmers and promoting agricultural technology transfer between the Republic of Korea and Zimbabwe.
KOPIA Zimbabwe Centre is hosted at SIRDC and the two conduct joint agriculture-related projects that empower rural communities. The projects being implemented include:
• Indigenous Free Range Chickens Project being implemented in Wedza and Rusape districts to promote production of indigenous chickens for improved rural livelihoods. The project is also promoting cultivation of sunflower and velvet bean crops, to improve poultry nutrition and reduce costs associated with feed procurement,
• Fabrication of Post-Harvest Equipment for Traditional Grains,
• Production of Disease-free Potato Seed Using tissue culture and Aeroponics Technology,
• Domestication of Edible Indigenous Mushrooms,
• Sesame Project, and
• Horticultural Projects.
These projects are of strategic importance as Zimbabwe makes concerted efforts to restore its bread basket status in Africa through national programmes such as Pfumvudza/Intwasa and the Presidential Input Scheme.
SIRDC hopes that such a model be rolled out across Zimbabwe, as it has the potential to take the country’s rural farmers from being mere subsistence farmers, to a level where they can produce excess for sale in all their farming activities. This will be in line with the Second Republic’s thrust of “leaving no-one and no place behind” in the country’s development agenda.
Other KOPIA Centres are in developing countries in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa. KOPIA Zimbabwe Centre is the 20th KOPIA Centre in the world and the 6th in Africa. Worldwide, KOPIA is involved in agriculture-related activities covering research, technology transfer and extension to increase household incomes and improve livelihoods of the smallholder farming and rural communities.