Partnerships for the success of the Juncao Technology in Zimbabwe

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Photo: © JEKESAI NJIKIZANA

The sustainable development goals cannot be achieved by one organisation, country, or individual. All of us will have to participate. Goal 17 is about partnerships and that is the thrust of the Juncao technology in Zimbabwe. In this article, I will highlight all the stakeholders that are important for this technology to be a success. I will also highlight their roles and possible action they will and/or must take. I will certainly not mention all organisations, please add more in the comments section below.

Juncao Technology


Applications of Juncao technology and its contribution to the achievement of sustainable agriculture and the sustainable development goals in Zimbabwe is being supported by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG), National Engineering Research Centre for Juncao Technology of the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU), China, and Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development (MOLAFWRD) Zimbabwe. Having said that we have many mushroom growers who have been in the trenches for many years now.

United nations


The united nations are leading the world towards Agenda 2030. Through its various units and departments, they are pushing, though it’s now clear we are off target. The partnership between UNDESA, DSDG, and FAFU is worth noting as it propagates the development of mushroom growing in Zimbabwe. As a mushroom farmer myself I look forward to this initiative being incorporated into the local industry.

Government


UNDESA, DSDG, and FAFU has partnered with the government of Zimbabwe through MOLAFWRD
Which has many departments with the Agriculture Extension Services (Agritex) being the main and most active and relevant to introduce the technology to farmers since its represented in all areas in Zimbabwe. It is my hope that they will implement this successfully.

Food and Agriculture Oganisation (FAO)


All farming activities are led by the Food and Agriculture organisation of the United Nations. So it is important that they are also partners. However other departments support its initiatives just as it does to others. I look forward to the Juncao technology being incorporated in its literature. The Juncao Technology not only has contribution to mushroom farming but as stock feeds and soil erosion management.

China


The Chinese government is supporting this project through FAFU which has done a lot of researches on the subject and Is supporting such projects in many countries including many countries in Africa. Zimbabwe will tap into that vast experience, that is why the south to south, north to south and triangular partnership remains key to success. My challenge to locals is what are we doing before such ideas are brought in

African Union


AU has come up with agenda 2063 again coming up with such a document required partnership. This is a policy document that is guiding continental policy. The Zimbabwean policy document lines itself to Agenda 2063.

National Development Strategy 1


After the Transitional Stabilisation Plan (TSP) the government of Zimbabwe is using the National Development Strategy 1 a policy document that the ministry of finance has come up with to guide Zimbabwe from 2021 -2025 with food security and nutrition being among many goals which are closely related to Juncao technology.

Market and marketers


Ultimately the mushrooms just go to the market. Both formal and informal markets exist as well as formal and informal marketers. The Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) will become crucial in market development. A lot has already been done but more must be done since production will be at a national scale. The local market will start, export and value addition will come much later. What has AMA done in the mushroom industry to develop it before they start doing so because of the new technology?

Farmers Union/associations


Here I will talk of all farmer’s associations in Zimbabwe current and those to come. Mushrooms and non-mushroom associations. These have members in all provinces and districts. I will mention them by name in a detailed article about associations in the future. Associations can reach many people and as new technology is being introduced they have an influence on their members, very few are being funded fully. A question we should all ask and get answers to why and who will do it. We are partners.

Universities and colleges


They are already into research and some have done research on mushroom growing and many other areas about agriculture, sadly there is a divide between Academia and industry. As FAFU brings the Juncao technology, the technology comes with many strains I would like to pose a critical question as to what they are doing to develop local mushrooms to be grown commercially. I know for a fact that some are virtually impossible to grow but for the partnership to be a success we need to see Indeginous Knowledge Systems (IKS) also being applied with the technology we are importing.

Development partners

Many others agencies and organizations including non-governmental organizations are supporting mushroom farming in Zimbabwe. These need to be recognized and come and work with other organizations for the success of the project. They also committed themselves to supporting smallholder farmers, especially with
technology that is being transferred to developing countries, this technology can help smallscale farmers and farming communities to develop,
smallholder farmers and other farmers, so that poor rural women and youth have sustainable livelihoods. A critical question is what have they done to the locals and what can we do to make sure the Juncao Technology is a huge success.

Mushroom farmers


Mushroom growing is already being done in Zimbabwe, it’s critical that the existing farmers appreciate the scope of the new technology, take it up or support the new initiative. Some may take this as competition when in fact it’s just a new technology, which is not the only technology but an alternative that I think is more sustainable, further it is focusing on helping smallholder farmers who have been left out from the current system.

South to south, North to South, and Triangular partnerships

At this point, I will also highlight that cooperation is critical for us to achieve the SDGs however the local organisations must also bring local solutions to the table both locally and internationally. For any idea to be successful it requires to be acclimatized to the local IKS and we also should offer local solutions to the worlds pressing challenges.

Conclusion


The Juncao Technology coming to Zimbabwe is a partnership of many organisations. The success of it depends on you and me and how we are going to partner. Just sharing this article you become a partner. Those mentioned by name and not must come together to win this battle. Zimbabwe will have a sustainable agriculture sector and a vibrant mushroom industry with value addition in the coming years. Everyone has a part to fulfil the SDGs. The
Juncao technology is addressing goals 1, 2 and 17 that is No poverty, Zero hunger and Partnerships for the goals respectively. The success depends on how hard we all work and avoid the donor syndrome in Zimbabwe. We certainly must accept imported solutions but must find tune them so that they are a success like locally.

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