African regional workshop on Juncao Technology was held February 21 in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. The workshop aims to help participants acquire more experience about the Chinese Juncao technology for mushroom growers and livestock keepers.
Juncao, which in Chinese literally means “mushroom” and “grass”, is used to grow edible and medicinal mushrooms, livestock feed and also as a method to control soil erosion and desertification.
Participants came from several African countries including Eritrea, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, among others.
In his opening remarks, the Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Wang Xuekun said that Juncao technology was once a revolutionary and sustainable farming method in China’s poverty elimination.
The Ambassador added that Africa has abundant natural resources, fertile soil, a favourable climate and very diligent people who deserve to be wealthy.
‘It is indeed a “prosperity grass” … We are committed to sharing our experiences and knowledge with African friends. I believe that Juncao Technology has great potential in promoting sustainable agriculture in Africa. It will also contribute to achieving the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’, said Ambassador Wang Xuekun.
By now, more than 35,000 Rwandan farmers have been trained in this technology, over 3,800 households, 50 companies and cooperatives have been supported to engage in the pertinent business.
According to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources Dr. Olivier Kamana, this technology is expected to benefit more mushroom growers, especially by passing on skills on how to use low-cost production methods.
In the next five years, Dr. Kamana added that the Ministry targets to double the number of trained farmers, using the Chinese-Rwanda Agriculture Technology Demonstration center based in Rubona (Huye district).
The Juncao technology was developed by Professor Lin Zhanxi and the National Engineering Research Centre for Juncao Technology of the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU) of China.
One of the participants at the African regional workshop on Juncao Technology is Felix Bizimungu from Muhanga district. He has been a mushroom grower for the last nine years and appreciates all that he has achieved, owing to this type of farming.
Bizimungu earns a monthly profit between Rwf 200,000 and Rwf 250,000, after harvesting between 100 and 180 kilograms.
‘My family had to do away with Malnutrition, again it provides me with sustainable livelihood as a reliable source of income, on a small piece of land or using mushroom grow bags.’, said Bizimungu
Since 2001, Chinese president Xi Jinping has personally pushed for the spread of this technology around the world. By now it has extended to 106 countries worldwide and helped countless farmers get rid of poverty and achieve prosperity.
Juncao technology was first introduced to Rwanda in 2006, and 5 years later, the Chinese-Rwanda Agriculture Technology Demonstration center was officially established in the southern province.
Since then, the technology has gradually taken root in Rwanda, and this industry has expanded successfully from grass planting, mushroom grow bags, to production and distribution of mushrooms.