Executive Director for Research and Innovation
Professor Florence Mtambanengwe
Professor Florence Mtambanengwe is the Executive Director for Research and Innovation in the Vice Chancellor’s Office at the University of Zimbabwe. She is a Full Professor of Soil Productivity and Agro-systems Development and holds a PhD in Agriculture (Soil Science), MPhil Science (Biological Management of Tropical Soils) and a BSc Honours Degree in Biological Sciences (Ecology & Microbiology major) all from the University of Zimbabwe. Her areas of specialization include: Participatory action research with emphasis on smallholder communities; Climate change adaptation and impacts on common natural resource pools; Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM); Sustainable agriculture; Plant nutrition including agronomic biofortification; Biodiversity conservation and management; Carbon and nutrient dynamics; Plant nutrition; Biological nitrogen fixation; Fertilizer development and resource use efficiencies, Environmental Impact Assessment; and Agricultural biotechnology with a track record of >100 publications in peer reviewed regional and international journals, book chapters and conference proceedings as evidence of this experience.
Prof Mtambanengwe also takes a leading role in impact-oriented research with particular emphasis on women farmers and is part of the successful University of Zimbabwe - Soil Fertility Consortium for Southern Africa (UZ-SOFECSA) Research team spearheading resource mobilization for the University through winning projects in Integrated soil fertility management and Climate Change research. To date, she has supervised 6 PhD students, and 15 MPhil/MSc students and also serves as an internal examiner for the University and an external examiner for a number of national, regional and overseas universities. In addition, Prof Mtambanengwe is a scientific peer reviewer for high impact journals in agricultural and climate change research as well as high level funding bodies including the International Development Peer Review of the UK College of Research and Innovation (UKRI), which hosts the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the National Foundation of Science of South Africa.
Her experience in the field of farming systems research has seen her rallying and working with smallholder farmers, public and private extension, farmer organisations, fellow researchers and academics, NGOs, private companies and regional and international research organizations and policy makers for over 20 years. Some of her major scientific breakthroughs through research include: Development of three farmer typologies according to resource-endowments to allow targeting of crop production technologies; Translating (ISFM) information and knowledge into usable products on-farm; Existence, cause and impacts of soil fertility gradients within cropping fields; Low cost soil improving technologies for resource-poor farmers including co-development of the indigenous legume ‘Indifallow’ concept to tap into natural and locally available biomass for soil nitrogen recapitalization and Co-development of the Farmer Learning Centre approach – an alternative field-based platform for co-learning and co-innovation extension approach.
At national level Prof Mtambanengwe is the current Board Chair for the National Biotechnology Authority of Zimbabwe (NBA) and she is the Technical expert for the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA) 100 day projects of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. She is a recipient of a number of scientific and global recognitions and awards including being named among the top scientists for her scientific contribution with impact on Resource Poor Agriculture at the 10th African Crop Science Society Conference held in Maputo, Mozambique; Member of the United Kingdom College of Research and Innovation (UKRI) and UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship Panel Member; Member of the United Nations High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) Project Team member for “Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance Food Security and Nutrition http://www.fao.org/cfs/cfs-hlpe/en/ and was a finalist in the Pan-Africa Awards of CEO Global Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government in recognition of achievement in the Education, Training and Academic within the SADC North Region sector, November 2018. She has been invited to participate in as a Distinguished Panellist at the 2016 African Soil Seminar as part of the Global Soil Week. On mentorship, Prof Mtambanengwe’s female students under her supervision have won global awards including the Brian Chambers International Award for young researchers in Crop nutrition (2015); the Africa-wide Women and Young Professionals in Science Competition (2014); and the prestigious International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Scholar awards (2011; 2014; and 2016).
Telephone: +263 242 303 211 Ext 11242/11158;
Direct Line: +263 242 333 676;
Mobile: +263 712 803957 / +263 773 284063.