Tuesday, September 04, 2007

(HERALD) Govt earmarks 12 000ha for Jatropha project

Govt earmarks 12 000ha for Jatropha project
Business Reporter

THE Government has earmarked 12 000 hectares for a Jatropha project in Harare Metropolitan Province, which should help current efforts aimed at expanding energy sources. Speaking at a Press briefing in Harare last week, senior administration officer responsible for community development in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Deve-lopment Mr Justine Dzvairo said that the Government will put 12 000 hectares under Jatropha.

Mr Dzvairo said: "Our main objective is to achieve energy security which is currently in short supply.

"Jatropha can be used for bio-diesel energy to replace petrol and diesel which is currently in short supply due to sanctions imposed to our country by Western countries,"

He added that the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe will assist farmers by giving them enough seedlings and other inputs to make sure that the project is a success.

Noczim is prepared to give 18 million seedlings worth more than $3 billion to support the project.

"Farmers are encouraged to take the project seriously, since we are geared to give them all the necessary support to make this project a success in Harare," noted Mr Dzvairo.

The ministry has also identified schools in Harare already involved Jatropha farming.

"We have identified more than 30 schools in Harare to engage into Jatropha project in order to equip students with the much needed knowledge about the plant. We have engaged Tafara High 1 in Mabvuku, Highfield High 2, and Zimre Primary School among others,’’ he added

"We do not have fuel but if we plant jatropha, the problem will come to an end," he added.

Noczim has stepping up efforts to promote the production of the Jatropha curcus plant as an alternative source of diesel to avert fuel shortages in the country.

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