Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jos, Professor Tanko Ishaya, says the cultivation and commercialisation of mushrooms will significantly lead to sustainability in the nation’s agricultural sector while also boosting its economic development.
The VC was speaking at the opening ceremony of a five-day Mushroom Cultivation Workshop organised by the University of Jos African Centre of Excellence in Phytomedicine Research and Development (ACEPRD), held at the Mushroom Training School Farm, behind the Naraguta Campus Staff Quarters of the university.
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, which is why the workshop by ACEPRD aims to equip participants with the knowledge and practical skills needed to harness such untapped potentials.
While describing mushrooms as the diamonds of the kitchen, Professor Ishaya who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Joash Amupitan SAN, said mushrooms have gained prominence by being a culinary delight and also for their medicinal properties. He noted 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.
In a keynote address, the General Manager Plateau State Agricultural Development Programme (PADP), Mr Ishaku Jilemsam, said mushroom is rich in value diversity including the ability to make one healthy and live long, adding 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.
The PADP General Manager appreciated the university’s commitment towards contributing to the development of agriculture in Plateau State, assuring that PADP is 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.
Earlier in a welcome address, Director, African Centre of Excellence in Phytomedicine Research and Development (ACEPRD), University of Jos, Professor Abraham Dogo, said the workshop with the theme “Mushroom Cultivation and Commercialisation: Hands-On” aims at turning mushrooms production into a thriving commercial business in Nigeria.