Kiyara Matambanadzo & Panashe Chikonyora
Zimbabwe’s seed manufacturing giant, Seed Co Limited recently held an awards ceremony for its innovation challenge in partnership with Boost Fellowship to promote innovation which is key in boosting the agricultural sector.
The innovation challenge is important towards revolutionalising the country’s agricultural sector which has over the past years been affected by the change in climate accompanied by other several challenges such as plant and crop diseases.
Agriculture is the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy contributes about 15 to 20 percent of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and such challenges have seen the agricultural sector underperforming over the past years.
Hence, as part of its mission to breed, provide various seeds and feeding nations, Seed Co partnered with Boost Fellowship to strategise ways to try improve and promote diversity in the country’s agricultural sector, through the innovation challenge.
Speaking during the ceremony Seed Co’s regional managing director, Denias Zaranyika urged youths to embrace innovation saying it is the lifeblood of organisations.
“When we mooted the idea, we all agreed that the customer should be at the centre of any innovation in line with one of our core values, which says ‘customer at the centre of all we do. So from our projects today we expect to see benefits and value coming to our farmers as well as Seed Co.
“Across the globe, evolutionary and revolutionary innovation are coming in to disrupt the status quo. They have also made many systems and products redundant. It’s normally said organisations that do not adapt will die, but I want to add that in today’s world organisations that are not proactive agile will die,” said Mr Zaranyika.
He commended on Boost Fellowship’s support in partnering with Seed-Co to come up with the innovation challenge competition, which he said is expected to improve the seed processing company’s performance in contributing towards the growth of the country’s economy.
Meanwhile, BOOST Fellowship executive director Cleo Makoni urged the young innovators that were at the ceremony to “fall in love with problems to become innovative, rather than being fond of solutions”.
She said opportunities are found in problems.
The innovation challenge saw the best 10 innovative students from different tertiary institutions in the country being selected.
With the first price of US$1000 being awarded to Ronald Murove from the Midlands State University (MSU), while Harare Institute of Technology (HIT)’s Chiratidzo Charakupa and Steve Tadzoka and Prince Mazimuka from the Lupane State University (LSU) won the second and third prices, receiving US$700 and US$500 respectively.
The rest of awardees starting from the fourth up to 10th place received US$300.