Plans to improve mushroom cultivation
REGIONAL agricultural experts are in Nadi for a capacity building workshop on Juncao Technology, primarily used in Fiji for mushroom cultivation.
The workshop also focuses on how the technology can be used to achieve sustainable agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals for Paciﬁc Small Island Developing States.
Speaking at the opening, acting Agriculture Minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa said Juncao Technology was developed by Professor Lin Zhanxi of the Fujian Agricultural and Forestry University in the 1980s.
“The technology has not only increased farmer’s livelihood in China, it has also been widely applied in other countries,” she said.
“Since 1992, Juncao technology has been used in more than 100 countries. Eight countries have established bases for Juncao technology demonstration and training as well as industrial development.”
She said the technology was unique as it not only promoted the cultivation of mushrooms but also helped in the growth of Juncao grass, a suitable supplement for livestock feed.
“Mushroom cultivation is a new concept in the Paciﬁc region. Many of our people do not know how to grow or utilise them.
“The technology enables farmers to grow several types of nutritious mushrooms from dried, chopped grasses, giving them a stable source of income and thereby helps boost the livelihood of farmers.”
According to Mrs Vuniwaqa, the Fijian Government was thankful to the Chinese Government for establishing the Mushroom Training and Development Centre in Fiji.
While the project to construct this Centre started in 2014, the ﬁrst cycle phase consisted of two years.
She said the project team, in collaboration with the research staff of the Agriculture Minis-try, had successfully trained a number of potential mushroom growers and extension ofﬁcers.
“The second phase of the project commenced in December, 2017. It includes more structured trainings for identiﬁed mush-room growers, research for identifying new varieties and substrates suitable for growing in our conditions and continuing establishment and management of demonstration plots.”
From: THE FIJI TIMES —TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2018, Page No.14