Jatropha Growers Processors and Export Association of Nigeria (JaGPEAN) says that it is ready to produce 20 percent bio-diesel locally by 2020.
The effort by the group is coming on the heels of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change which makes it mandatory for every country to exchange 20 percent of its energy needs from fossil fuel to bio-fuel
The group was equally optimistic that the plans by Europe and America to eliminate fossil fuel consuming vehicles and close down all companies running on fossil fuel will be a blessing as the group has strategized to expand its Jatropha farms across the country and has also made plans to assess high yielding seedlings from research institutes in the country and abroad.
This was disclosed by the President of the Association, Gen,J.A. Omosebi (rtd) Wednesday in Abuja during a national stake holders meeting of the association.
Gen. Omosebi said that with the directives from the Federal government that Nigerian fuel should be blended 20 percent Bio-diesel, the association has commenced massive mobilization of all growers of Jatropha which is the major raw material for bio-diesel and is also working in partnership with research institutions and government agencies like Federal Ministry of Environment.
University of Ilorin, Raw Material Research and Development Agency (RMRDA), Institute of Agricultural Research Zaria with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to ensure that Jatropha farmers have access to improved seedlings and the needed funding to meet up with demand.
According to him, ” Last year, we had an international conference, anchored by the Federal Ministry of Environment on how to produce bio-diesel for blending in line with Federal government commitment that by 2020, the Nigerian bio-fuel should be 20 percent bio-diesel”.
He said that awareness creation on the importance of the Jatropha farming and the many products that could be explored from the product has received little or no attention in the past. He also added that little efforts have been made to support farmers with funding so as to expand their jatropha farms to ensure that there is adequate raw material to bridge the gap.
As at present, the diesel being consumed in the country is about 12 million liters, 20 percent of it is about 2.4 million liters which will be required by Nigerians assuming that the rate of consumption is the same.
The bio-diesel we are talking about is oil and the waste is cake which can be used for organic fertilizer which can be used to improve farm crop yield and also facilitate or reduce significantly the importation of in-organic fertilizer.
So Jatropha is the winner crop because it will provide the oil for blending in line with the international standard and at the same time avail the opportunity for us to produce organic fertilizer locally to meet the desires and demands of the farmers” Omosebi stated.