Another dream is nearly to piece of work bust. I am talking nearly India’s stone oil dream from jatropha seeds. The dream was oiled on hype, in addition to of classify employment concern interests. The Planning Commission triggered it, in addition to similar much of what it does, it truly relied on industrial projections without ascertaining whether biofuels could truly live produced on a scale to brand whatever meaning contribution to the country’s evergrowing fuel needs.
In Apr 2003, the Planning Commission had initiated a proposal calling for a major multi-dimensional programme seeking to supervene upon xx per cent of country’s diesel fuel requirement. In March 2004, the start instalment of Rs 800-crore for the National Programme on Jatropha was released to ‘support tillage of jatropha inwards 200,000 hectares’. Under the programme, a full resources allotment of Rs 1500 crore to embrace 400,000 hectares was envisaged for the adjacent 5 years.
Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 full of xiii ane grand 1000 hectares had to live brought nether jatropha plantations yesteryear 2013.
To know nearly the potential of jatropha plants every bit biofuel, I had travelled sometimes dorsum to the Directorate of Oilseeds Research inwards Hyderabad, a premier question pump of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research. My colleague, Dr G V Ramanjaneyulu of the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, also based inwards Hyderabad, accompanied me. Talking to scientists, what we learnt was only shocking. They were researching on the potential of jatropha for a disclose of years, but had for or hence 6-7 years forthwith abandoned the question project. The conclusion: it was non a found suitable for India.
And yet, the Planning Commission launched a sort of a national mission on jatropha. I am non the to the lowest degree surprised, knowing what India’s Planning Commission is capable of doing. But what sure enough I don’t sympathize is what refrained the enlightened members of the Planning Commission to talk to DOR scientists earlier accepting the manufacture claims. If I in addition to Dr Ramanjaneyulu could verbalize to the scientists concerned to know nearly its potential, why couldn’t these members arrive at the same? If the dream fails, as is becoming increasingly evident, shouldn’t the Planning Commission live held accountable? And why not? After all, it is the tax-payers coin that is existence squandered, and someone should live held accountable.
And what nearly large tracts of Earth that the State Government’s direct keep transferred to the somebody companies at a throwaway price? Isn’t that or hence other scandal?
Read the tidings study below —Jatropha seeds yield petty hope for India’s stone oil dream — in addition to y’all volition sympathize why I am hollo for for accountability inwards the planning process. The Chief Ministers of United States which went out of the agency to allocate lands (in the garb of wastelands) besides should live held accountable. We cannot permit the bigger fish piece of work scot free.
Jatropha seeds yield litle hope for India’s stone oil dream
By Richard Orange
The National, May 11
Back inwards 2005, Professor RR Shah sent a squad to Navsari Agricultural University’s most parched in addition to desolate strip of land, a farm inwards the Vyasa district of India’s northern province of Gujarat. Their instructions: to laid a model farm for Jatropha, the hardy shrub amongst oil-rich seeds that were hence emerging every bit ane of the most promising alternatives to unsmooth oil.
At the time, Jatropha’s hope seemed boundless. APJ Abdul Kalam, the president, fifty-fifty used his presidential address that twelvemonth to extol its virtues. Jatropha tin endure inwards the most arid wastelands, the floor went, hence vast barren swathes of Republic of Republic of India could live seat to productive use. It is inedible hence it would non displace a backlash yesteryear competing amongst nutrient crops. The authorities announced a system to found xiii ane grand 1000 hectares, plenty to generate nearly 500,000 barrels of Jatropha stone oil per day.
But every bit Prof Shah’s projection inwards Vyasa nears its halt this month, the dean of agribusiness at Navsari is sceptical. “There is no yield,” he says. “The literature said that amongst dry out land, later 4 years’ growth, y’all tin acquire a yield of 1kg per plant. For us, it is hardly 200g per plant.”
Navsari is non alone. As the findings come upward inwards from airplane pilot schemes at 22 dissimilar agricultural colleges across India, the cardinal claim of Jatropha’s evangelists, that it thrives inwards barren land, is looking threadbare.
And that is fifty-fifty earlier y’all study the difficulties Jatropha faces competing amongst unsmooth stone oil at today’s prices. According to Dharmendra Parekh, the managing manager of Aditya Aromatics, a Jatropha pioneer inwards Gujarat, stone oil from the shrub forthwith costs to a greater extent than than 100 rupees (Dh7.5) per litre to produce, compared amongst 34 rupees per litre for normal diesel.
Suman Jha, a researcher on Prof Shah’s team, shows me patches where he is growing the found amongst fertiliser, intermingled amongst other crops in addition to trees. Even here, it is a slowly in addition to unremarkable greenish shrub, but at to the lowest degree it is thriving, producing every bit much every bit 4kg per plant.
“This is non a wasteland crop,” Dr Jha says. “It needs fertiliser, H2O in addition to skillful management. Yes, it grows on wasteland, but it doesn’t give y’all whatever yield.”
Dr Jha says companies such every bit D1 Oils, the London-listed biofuels company, which has planted nearly 257,000 hectares of Jatropha, mainly inwards India, moved far besides early.
“What nosotros did amongst this crop is that nosotros distributed it everywhere without having whatever patience, earlier finding out which genotypes are high-yielding. If nosotros want, nosotros tin acquire a skillful amount of net income out if it, but nosotros demand to direct keep patience.”
D1 is also having or hence nasty surprises on yield. It said inwards 2006 that it aimed to create 2.7 tonnes of stone oil per hectare from areas planted amongst its novel E1 variety, in addition to 1.7 tonnes of stone oil from normal seed. That is equivalent to nearly 8 tonnes in addition to 5 tonnes of seed per hectare respectively, or 3.5kg in addition to 2kg a plant.
Pradip Bhar, who runs the company’s D1 Williamson Magor Bio Fuel articulation venture inwards India’s northward east, admits he has yet to laissez passer a fraction of that.
“Hitting 500g is the challenge,” he says. “Mortality is quite high. But if nosotros tin laissez passer 500g inwards 2 years’ time, later that the bush volition piece of work on to grow. Our expectation is that later the 4th twelvemonth nosotros volition hitting 1kg. The 1.5kg grade nosotros haven’t touched every bit yet.”
Those are the results from the fertile province of Assam. The yields inwards other, dryer states such every bit Jharkand in addition to Orissa, he says, are much worse.
But he withal believes D1 was correct to forge ahead amongst early on planting because it volition live at to the lowest degree an eight-year hold off earlier varieties amongst skillful yields on wastelands are developed. Even D1’s E1 diversity is non yet available inwards sufficient quantities.
Mr Bhar intends to concur the surface area nether tillage steady at nearly 132,000 hectares this year. As his plantations employment concern human relationship for to a greater extent than than one-half of D1 Oils’ Jatropha crop, the company’s destination of planting 1 ane grand 1000 hectares yesteryear 2011 looks similar a tough one. He is concentrating instead on ensuring his pocket-size contract farmers piece of work on tending it for the 2 or iii years needed earlier it becomes profitable.
This challenge is ane of the reasons why Prof Shah doubts the 500,000 hectares of Jatropha the Indian authorities estimates has been planted hence far. Only concluding month, he unsettled an annual coming together of the universities researching Jatropha in addition to India’s National Oilseeds in addition to Vegetable Oil Development Board yesteryear reporting that only 5,000 hectares was truly nether plantation inwards Gujarat, one-half the official estimate.