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Crores wasted as plan goes to seed

THE MUCH-TOUTED bio-diesel manufacturing campaign of the Union Government is yet to attract the state small-scale entrepreneurs. This has happened despite the fact that crores of rupees have been spent on jatropha plantations for two years.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2006 01:13 IST

THE MUCH-TOUTED bio-diesel manufacturing campaign of the Union Government is yet to attract the state small-scale entrepreneurs. This has happened despite the fact that crores of rupees have been spent on jatropha plantations for two years.

The State Government has also made a lot of efforts to promote marketing of Jatropha seeds through various government and private agencies. A website ‘jatropha.up.nic.in’ was recently launched by the State Government to provide information on all aspects of jatropha cultivation.

“As far as small-scale entrepreneurs are concerned, a very few of them in UP seem to be interested in setting up refineries for extracting jatropha seed oil for manufacturing bio-diesel in the state,” Rajnish Sethi, chairman of the Agri and Food Processing Working Group of IIA said.

He said that the gestation period for achieving the desired seed output from jatropha cultivation is too long (which is between 4 to 5 years).

“If you have to wait for that long to achieve the required jatropha seeds output to arrive at a refinery, after every four to five years, let us know how many small entrepreneurs would be keen to invest in a jatropha seed oil extraction plant which costs anywhere between Rs 12 to 15 crores to set up in the country,” Sethi said. He said the cost of jatropha seeds in the open market was anywhere between Rs 60 to 70 per kg as cultivation is yet to pick up to desired level.

First Published: Mar 25, 2006 01:13 IST