The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) has initiated a partnership between the Federal Government and China to domesticate Juncao Technology in the country’s universities of agriculture to revolutionise the sector.
The body urged both countries to expedite their resolution on the programme to arrest the dwindling fortune of food production in the country and the continent.
Princess Gloria Akobundu, the Chief Executive Officer of AUDA-NEPAD, Nigeria, made the call in Abuja on Tuesday at a three-day workshop on application of Juncao Technology and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Juncao Technology is an environment friendly system that helps smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs to grow mushrooms from dried, chopped grasses, without cutting down trees and damaging the environment.
The technology could also be used for producing cattle feed, methane gas and minimise soil erosion to combat desertification.
According to her, when domesticated, the technology would create direct and indirect jobs, promote agro business, ensure sustainability and enhance nutrition.
Akobundu noted that other benefits of the technology would add value to the economy and grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
” It is no longer news that COVID-19 has significantly worsened the economy and food security situation of many homes, especially poorer households.
”This workshop, therefore, could not have come at a better time than now to address the challenges of food insecurity and malnutrition.
”We can move closer to the goal of attaining Zero Hunger (Sustainable Development Goals 2) if we explore new options like the Juncao technology.
”The technology will contribute greatly to the achievement of UN agenda 2030 and AU Agenda 2063”.
Dr Mahmood Abubakar, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the technology revolved around fodder production, land reclamation and mushroom production which were essential components of climate change mitigation.
Abubakar, represented by Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, an official of the ministry, said the ministry was looking forward to potential leverages that the technology would provide.
”Mushroom farming is one of the many farming businesses in Nigeria that promises huge money prospects but yet to gain ground”.
Sen. Abba Ali, the Chairman, Governing Board of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), said the technology was a welcome development due to the importance of agriculture.
In his contribution, Mr Matthia Schmale, UN Resident Coordinator, Nigeria, expressed gratitude to the AUDA/NEPAD coordinator and the ministry of agriculture for embracing the first phase of the technology in 2019.
In his remarks, the People’s Republic of China Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Cui Jianchun, expressed his country’s readiness to partner with Nigeria to develop research on economic affairs with the aim of up-scaling agricultural production technologically.
“We are working on developing research on economic affairs.
“So I do believe that the Nigerian team is leading the international community to develop for the people economically, socially.
“And today is a very good example for your students in technology and I know that Nigeria has set a very different example in the whole of Africa,” Jianchun said.