The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has proposed to initiate and establish bio-fuel plantations with financial assistance of Central Government.

According to Vice-Chancellor P. Murugesa Boopathi, fuels of biological origin sourced from biological raw materials have proven to be good substitutes for oil in the energy sector. “Increasing interest is shown towards the utility of Tree Borne Oilseeds (TBOs) like jatropha, pungam, illuppai, neem and simarouba as sources of bio-diesel.”

Director of Research M. Paramathma said most of the TBOs required minimum care after planting and hence, reduced the maintenance and labour costs. “Also, private companies and bio-fuel industries will be interested in cultivating them because of their ability to grow in waste lands.

The proposed plantations will be set up on lands belonging to Government/Panchayat/Corporation with block area of 10 hectares,” he said.

He said that TNAU had the capacity to provide jatropha seedlings to plant 10 hectares annually to those who were interested.

The seedling and planting expenditure and the annual maintenance would be met by the university for three years. “From the third year, jatropha will become economically viable. If the land is more than 100 hectares or in a cluster, a separate biodiesel processing and production unit/plant will be established with the support of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy,” Mr. Paramathma said.

TNAU invites interested departments/organisations having wastelands to partner in this venture. For details, contact 94890-33000 or 0422-6611376.

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