PM urges usage of China's Juncao technology to address food insecurity

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday urged the international community to utilise China’s Juncao technology in combating challenges of poverty, food insecurity, and climate change.

PM urges usage of China's Juncao technology to address food insecurity

In his remarks at the virtual forum on the 20th anniversary of Juncao Assistance and Sustainable Development Cooperation, Khan congratulated China for hosting the event and Professor Lin for the invention of the ‘Juncao’ technology.

Juncao, which is famed as ‘magic grass’, is two Chinese characters meaning ‘mushroom’ and ‘grass’. The particular breed of grass was discovered by Chinese scientists to be an economical and environment-friendly substitute for timber traditionally used as a substrate for growing mushrooms, according to the China Global Television Network, or CGTN.

“I also commend China for sharing this beneficial technology with over a hundred countries, which has already benefited thousands of people across the continent over the past 20 years,” he said.

The prime minister highlighted that the world at large and the people of the global south, in particular, are grappling with multiple challenges including climate change, poverty, and food insecurity.

“With relentless efforts towards ending poverty in all its manifestations extreme poverty has been steadily declining in the past two decades. However, the Covid-19 pandemic triggered an economic meltdown, which has slowed down global progress.”

He said that extreme poverty increased in 2020, for the first time in over 20 years, adding that the achievement of food security and improved nutrition have become even a ‘greater challenge’ for developing countries.

He highlighted that sustainable ways of achieving economic recovery, growth, and development are critical during the pandemic, and was of the view that Juncao technology could help in achieving these goals.

“It helps small-scale farmers to develop low-cost, commercial-scale mushroom cultivation. In addition, it also helps in combating desertification and can be used as food for livestock.”

‘Role model’

PM also called China a role model for developing countries in poverty alleviation, saying that China’s remarkable growth brought 800 million people out of poverty over the past four decades. “I commend President Xi’s vision of a prosperous, clean, and beautiful world. An initiative to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.”

Talking about his government’s achievements, Khan called poverty alleviation and tackling climate change as his government’s key priorities. “We launched a wide-ranging social safety program called Ehsaas, with the objective of uplifting marginalized people, eradicating poverty, and supporting vulnerable households.”

He said that the government’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program ‘cushioned’ the vulnerable population from the economic shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Giving his views on combating climate change, Khan said that Pakistan, being one of the most climate-vulnerable countries, will fully support international efforts to combat it.

“As part of one of the most ambitious efforts to expand and restore forest, we have already planted a billion trees as part of our 10 billion tree project,” said the prime minister. “Our green initiatives resonate with the United Nations’ Decade of Ecosystem Restoration 21-30. We hope, it will contribute to preventing, halting, and reversing the degradation of the ecosystem.”

Expressing resolve in commitment to international cooperation aimed at poverty alleviation and sustainable growth and addressing climate change, the PM noted that the Juncao technology suits Pakistan’s society and economy, saying that such “innovative affordable and eco-friendly technology may help catalyze our progress achieving the first two sustainable development goals i.e no poverty and zero hunger.”

He said that Pakistan’s national poverty graduation program can play a vital role in collaboration with the Juncao technology.

Originally published at Business recorder