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Mushroom farming will boost economic devt – UNIJOS VC

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jos, Prof. Tanko Ishaya has advocated the cultivation and commercialization of mushrooms to sustain the nation’s agricultural sector and also boosting its economic development.

While explaining the incredible potentials inherent in mushrooms, the Vice-Chancellor said the product offers a sustainable source of income through the job opportunities it provides given its nutritional value.

A statement by the Senior Deputy Registrar (Information and Publications) in UNIJOS, Abdullahi Abdullahi, sent to us on Tuesday said Ishaya, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Joash Amupitan (SAN), stated these during the opening ceremony of a five-day workshop on mushroom cultivation organised by the  African Centre of Excellence in Phytomedicine Research and Development of the institution, held at the Mushroom Training School Farm, with the theme “Mushroom cultivation and commercialization: Hands-on.”

According to him, the value of mushroom underscored the reason why the workshop by ACEPRD aimed to equip participants with the knowledge and practical skills needed to harness such untapped potentials.

Ishaya said, “Cultivation and commercialization of mushrooms will significantly lead to sustainability in the nation’s agricultural sector while also boosting its economic development”

“Mushroom Production offers a sustainable source of income through the job opportunities it provides given its nutritional value, which is why UNIJOS is striving to equip citizens with the knowledge and practical skills needed to harness the untapped potentials inherent.”

While describing mushrooms as the diamonds of the kitchen, he said mushrooms have gained prominence by being a culinary delight and also for their medicinal properties.

He said that the workshop package contains informative sessions, practical demonstrations and interactive discussions that would avail the participants the platform to explore the intricacies of mushrooms cultivation, from selecting the right species to understanding the ideal growing conditions as well as commercializing the products and turning their knowledge into a thriving business.

The VC commended ACEPRD under the Directorship of Prof. Abraham Dogo, for organising the workshop, saying the workshop should focus on inculcating knowledge, fostering collaboration and networking.

He therefore encouraged participants to share experiences even as they create partnership that will be beneficial in their mushroom cultivation enterprises.

Delivering his keynote address, the General Manager, Plateau State Agricultural Development Programme, Ishaku Jilemsam, said mushroom is rich in value diversity including the ability to make one healthy and live long.

He added that mushrooms have been in existence for as far as the origin of man and in many places like Greece, mushrooms are used as drinks during ceremonies.

Jilemsam appreciated the UNIJOS commitment towards contributing to the development of agriculture in Plateau State assuring that PADP was committed to supporting the work of ACEPRD by ensuring that the research work and knowledge gained from the workshop is translated down to farmers at the grassroots while also creating awareness among farmers on mass production and commercialization of mushrooms.

Earlier, the Director of ACEPRD, Prof. Abraham Dogo said the workshop aimed to turning mushrooms production into a thriving commercial business in Nigeria.

He stressed that the demand for mushrooms is on increase due to its remarkable versatility and health benefits, thus urging the participants to fully put the knowledge acquired into use.

The ACEPRD was selected as one of the ten centres from Nigeria by World Bank to contribute to the health care development in Africa.

Since then, the centre has advanced knowledge through discovery, dissemination and application of research findings that are addressing critical challenges.

The centre’s research products continue to meet the health care needs of the public with commercialization in the areas of mushrooms production with five different species approved by NAFDAC, SCABIPLUS products for treating scabies, COVID-19 tea among many others.

The organisation has also trained and issued certificates to many Nigerian and foreigners Students who undertook short term courses, Masters and PhD level programmes in Phytomedicine Research and Biomedical Specialties.

SOURCE: PUNCH

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