GRAIN AMARANTH RESEARCH AT AFRICA UNIVERSITY
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Prof. Fanuel Tagwira has initiated a research program on grain amaranth at Africa University, Mutare, Zimbabwe. Prof and Mrs Tagwira started growing amaranth at their home for the last three years. After seeing the potential of grain amaranth as a crop and as a food during this period they decided to train a small group of farmers from the Nyamajura Area on how to grow and process grain amaranth. They teamed up with three extension officers from AREX (Mr Ndoro, Mr Nyakupanda and Mrs Madzingira) and trained a group of 15 farmers. The trained farmers are excited about the crop and intent to grow a bigger area next year. At a recent field day, farmers, extension officers and members of the public were taken round to meet some of the farmers who have grown the crop successfully.
Amaranth crop in the field in Odzi
Out of this initiative is being borne a major research project at Africa University that will see grain amaranth being mainstreamed into Zimbabwean diets and also being used extensively in the Agriculture sector in Zimbabwe. The major focus of the research will include; a) determining the best agronomic requirements for grain amaranth; b) breeding suitable varieties for the region and c) research into process and mainstreaming of amaranth into Africa diets. Click here for more about the Research
Africa University is carrying out research on the Moringa tree. Moringa is grown through out the world today. The potential benefits of Moringa have raised great interest among scientists and ordinary people. It is generally agreed that third world countries have a greater potential to benefit from Moringa. The Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Africa University grew a plot of Moringa Oleifera at the University farm. The seeds for the Moringa plot were donated by Richard and Joe Dugger of Culver Indiana to Prof F.and Mrs M. Tagwira during the Missions Conference at ECHO in Florida in 1999 and the others were brought from Tanzania by Prof. A. Mphuru, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The Moringa trees are used for teaching students, research and training local communities. A number of people in the local community have also received seeds while others have bought Moringa plants from the Faculty Nursery. Click here for more about the Research