Stakeholders harped on the economic importance of jatropha plant as a source of bio-fuel during a two-day conference organised by the Bio-fuel Development Farmers Association in Ibadan, recently.
According to Mr Olarinre Adeniji, Chairman, Itesiwaju Local Governmernt Area, Oyo State, Nigerians who partook in the second World War saw how crude oil from jatropha plant was used to power vehicles abroad and they came back home with a song of the plant’s economic value.
He, however, noted that the plant, known as “ewe lapalapa” in Yoruba, abounded sufficiently in Nigeria and had many uses.
The local government boss said jatropha seed and oil could be used to produce bio-kerosine, aviation fuel, diesel, gas, organic fertiliser, briquette, medicine and body soap, among many others.
The world’s attention is shifting from oil to jatropha, according to Adeniji, urging the government to provide land and capital to assist farmers.
In his welcome address, the national president of the association, Mr Kayode Adebiyi, said the world currently demands new ideas, new ways of doing things, new invention and new leadership.
He explained at the conference that the meeting was to promote bio-fuel in the nation and introduce the link person between the Japanese government and the local farmers, Dr Ben Egboh, to the participants.
He said: “The Japanese demand of 5,000 metric tonnes of jatropha crude oil monthly is not a joke, but attainable.”
He, however, added that at the last Global Climatic Conference, over 15,000 bishops converged to say no to carbon emissions, even as he noted that that was positive for African continent if its leaders would explore the potential of the green vegetation and supply bio-fuel to the world.
To make the task easier, the president urged the government to enact a 10 per cent inclusion on the jatropha oil into the bio-fuel bill, especially during its second reading.
He also vouched on behalf of his members that they would not default and use judiciously whatever capital the government sources for them.
In his address, Dr Egboh said there would be no any lapse in his dealings with the farmers as all issues and transactions would be documented and legally carried out.
Hajia Bola Muse, a farmer, urged her colleagues to be determined, focused and trustworthy to be able to benefit from the many available opportunities, especially from financial institutions. [SOURCE: TRIBUNE]