Nuffield Zimbabwe

2023 Scholarship Winners

My name is Robert Davy, I am the Community Conservation manager and Conservation Head of Department for My Trees Trust Zimbabwe. My job is oversight of all conservation-based activities within landscapes currently under My Trees Trust management, this mainly constitutes approximately 120 000 hectares of wilderness area in the mid-Zambezi valley in Zimbabwe. My current job has a large component of sustainable livelihood development for neighbouring communities as well dealing with the ever-increasing problem of human-wildlife conflict. My previous experience in this was running the Human-Wildlife conflict mitigation programme on the entire boundary of Gonarezhou National Park in the South Eastern Districts of Zimbabwe. This Job entailed working with local communities in finding sustainable solutions for small-scale subsistence farmers in combatting livestock depredation and crop-raiding.

Since the primary source of Human Wildlife conflict is centred around food security and competition for resources, including energy, I would like to use my scholarship year to find household level solutions for food security to limit the potential interaction and resource competition between people and wildlife. Projects such as small group level ( 5- 10 households) Aquaponic projects as well as alternative energy and feed generation from biomass/agriwaste processing and pelletisation are of particular interest to me.

I live with my wife Stephanie and our two children in a tented camp on the banks of the Gache Gache river as it feeds into Lake Kariba, I have a keen interest in all things wildlife and go fishing when I am able to as well as birding and game viewing with my family.

Qa Khumalo (Khums) is responsible for the Syngenta crop protection business in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mauritius, Angola and Mozambique. He is based in Harare Zimbabwe and has over 16 years experience working in various aspects of agriculture in Southern Africa including: maize and vegetable seeds, crop protection as well as commercial export horticulture and row crop farming in Marondera.

With a passion in sustainable crop production Khums plans on exploring Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) with a specific emphasis on post harvest protection technologies of small holder harvested grain, whilst on his Nuffield scholarship.

Khums has a Masters degree in Plant Sciences from Lincoln University in New Zealand. He is an avid birder and loves exploring the outdoors with his wife and daughter.

2022 Scholarship Winners

Yvonne Dzuda is an independent Food Safety Consultant and Trainer based in Zimbabwe. She covers food safety concerns for both small and large facilities in the fruit and vegetable export industry in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. She provides full-service consultation (training, technical assistance and coaching and internal auditing) to guide companies from implementation of Food Safety Management Systems all the way to certification for the following standards: BRCGS; Global GAP; GRASP and SMETA. Her main areas of expertise are HACCP, Good Agricultural Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices and Quality Management Systems.

Yvonne has a BSc in Food Science and Technology from the University of Zimbabwe and has over 20 years’ experience in the Fruit and Vegetable industry. Before venturing into consultancy services and training, she worked in various roles such as Quality Assurance Manager; Technical Manager; Corporate and Social Responsibility Manager for various food companies in the fresh fruit and vegetable exports and also in the canning and freezing industry.

Yvonne serves on the following boards: Lendy Park Primary School; Borradaile Hospital and Kukura Neshungu Institute for the physically and mentally handicapped. All 3 institutions are in Marondera. She enjoys taking long walks, cooking, word games and spending time with her family. She is married to Farai and they have one son.

Yvonne is thrilled to be a recipient of a 2022 Nuffield Scholarship and knows that it will give her the opportunity to engage with peers in her field of Food Safety and be able to learn from those that have contributed to improving food safety systems in their countries. She hopes that her work will enable her to positively impact the food industry in Zimbabwe.

Philip Johan Odendaal (36) is a born and bred Zimbabwean. He grew up on a predominantly cattle and tobacco farm and attended boarding school from the age of 5. Having set his mind to stay in Zimbabwe against all odds, he set off on a life aimed at conservation through safari hunting. This lasted only a few years until his passion for farming and working with livestock pulled him back to the agriculture industry. He attempted potato and tomato farming in an unstable economic environment which did not yield success.

Since then, he successfully managed a dairy farm for 3 years and has spent the last 7 years with Triple C Pigs. He is currently positioned as the general manager overseeing 4660 sows and a feed-mill producing approximately 780 tonnes of finished feed per month. He also set up 2 of the company’s 1000 sow - farrow to finish units from scratch, having used the shell of old piggeries.

Over the years, he has authored 2 self-published novels, gaining local recognition for his book titled ‘The Rise of the Vaesons’ – a futuristic fantasy that centres around the possibility of man’s survival being in the hands of wildlife and how they have an internal struggle based on horrors thrown onto them for 1000’s of years by humans against the need to protect them from being wiped out entirely.

Philip, more commonly known by his infamous nickname Wors, is the proud father of 2 boys, Adon (12) and Keegan (11) and is married to Christine, who has recently started her own company, Boss Taurus, which will be supplying ABS genetics into the Zimbabwe cattle scene as well as servicing other affiliated procurement for the industry.

Sandi Roberts lives in Harare, Zimbabwe and has over 25 years’ experience working in the agricultural sector in sub–Saharan Africa. A combination of private sector and smallholder development work has given her an all-round perspective of climate change risks at all levels. Most recently she managed AgDevCo’s Smallholder Development Unit (SDU) supported by a $15mill fund from the Mastercard Foundation.

As a passionate advocate of Regenerative Agriculture (RA), Sandi has opened a new company, BioAg P/L. The aim of this is to raise awareness of Regenerative Agriculture principles, support farmers’ transition from conventional to RA, all while improving profit margins and building farmers’ resilience through improved soil health. Sandi has a Masters degree in Agriculture specialising in Horticulture from University of Natal, South Africa.

Graeme Sharp was born and raised on a large cattle and wildlife ranching operation in the Midlands region of Zimbabwe. Following his schooling, Graeme spent a decade in the USA and Australasia building his skills and leadership experience in the tourism and project management industries before returning to his native Zimbabwe in 2018. Graeme is the Management Executive at Padenga Holdings, the premium producer of high value crocodilian skins to the luxury brand house of the world. Graeme is driving Padenga’s strategic development initiatives, ensuring the business adapts and continues to meet the demands of an evolving and ever changing international market environment. Graeme also head’s the company’s diversification into a large scale, specialist and integrated Agricultural operation – Macadamia, Avocado, Horticulture and traditional row crops.

Graeme is passionate about conservation and agriculture and appreciates the role of both for not only Zimbabwe but Africa as a whole as the continent navigates growing climate, food security, social and conservation challenges.

2020 Scholarship Winner

Ranga Huruba has been selected as a 2020 Zimbabwe Scholar, supported by DripTech, DuduTech. who aims to research into communal and small-scale beef production in Zimbabwe. Ranga’s family owns land inherited from his grandfather where they are practising small-scale cattle ranching. He has a background in rangeland ecology and is currently doing his PhD in the same field while working for Debshan Ranch as Research Manager. Debshan is a cattle and game ranch embracing management for production sustainability. His long-term goal is to improve production potential and income of farmers, with the added advantage of increased ecosystem resilience. Identifying typical patterns in the heterogeneous situations in which farmers operate will provide crucial knowledge regarding key similarities and differences, facilitating the dissemination of findings and the transfer of successful strategies.

2019 Scholarship Winner

Nuffield International and Nuffield Zimbabwe are excited to announce that Philip Weller of Mazowe, Zimbabwe, has been selected as a 2019 Nuffield Farming Scholar. Phil represents the first Nuffield Zimbabwe Scholar since the country’s program was paused in 2002. Phil is the managing director of Tonsberg Farming, a vertically integrated horticulture company with breeding/genetics, marketing, and logistics capabilities in the cut flower space. While on his Nuffield scholarship, Phil plans on exploring Integrated Pest Management (IPM) efforts around the world, with a focus on the contribution of IPM plans to sustainable agriculture practices.

Philip’s scholarship is supported by NuFarm, DripTech, DuduTech and the Nuffield International Foundation Fund.

2019 CSC Conference

Phil Weller (third from right), and the 2019 Nuffield International Farming Scholars, are recognised by Nuffield International board chair Kelvin Meadows (Canada) at the organisation's annual Contemporary Scholars Conference in Ames, Iowa, USA in March.

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