The federal government and stakeholders in the agriculture sector have taken a significant step to domesticate Juncao technology, an innovation from China to improve the production of mushrooms as well as fight desertification and protect the environment against climate change.
This was the crux of a workshop on “Applications of Juncao Technology and its Contribution to Nigeria”, held in Abuja yesterday, as mushroom production is said to have enormous potential to generate billions and improve the agriculture value chain in Nigeria.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, in his remarks noted that Nigeria can adopt Juncao technology and its innovative process to build the capacity of mushroom farmers and other food items especially now that Nigeria is moving away from dependence on oil to diversification in agriculture.
The minister, who was represented by Abdullahi Abubakar, a director in the Department of Agriculture, said the domestication of this technology will attract the young people to agriculture and improve the value chain in that sector. He added that mushroom farming is one area that has big potential for Nigerian youths.
Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, told reporters in an interview that the technology, which is available in over 103 countries, is not only used for food production but also for the protection of the environment.
“I am trying to get this technology to Nigeria because of the need for Nigeria to grow food. We also need this technology against desertification. Here in Nigeria, agriculture is the pillar of development and I think this technology can help us do things differently. It will also give opportunities for the herdsmen to grow grass and feed their cattle and the farmers to have enough land to cultivate their crops. “One of the functions of this technology is against desertification, if we have this technology, we could bring the green wall and protect Nigerians against climate change,” he said.
National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD/APRM, Princess Gloria Akobundu, in her remarks noted that the domestication of Juncao technology provides a great opportunity for China and other development partners to deepen their collaboration with Nigeria to harness the bountiful potential that abound in Nigeria. “The rest of the world should see Africa as a strategic partner and align the energy of Nigerian youth into critical development areas,” she said.
Amson Sibanda, Chief National Strategies and Capacity Building Branch Division for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said the Juncao technology will “contribute to the SDGs particularly the objectives of eradicating hunger and poverty, promoting women and youth, creating jobs and protecting the environment.”
“We are training the average rural farmer how to grow mushrooms so that they can use it to feed their families and they can sell to make incomes. For those who have commercial minds they can even scale up their mushroom production and really become big mushroom producers.
“Juncao technology can grow grass that will address the issues of livestock feed. We have enough livestock feed that can contribute to addressing the conflict between farmers and herders,” he said.