Thursday, August 30, 2007

[PBN]: Philippines: Government alots US$ 160 Million for Jatropha


Gov't alloting P10B for jatropha planting

By Ma. Cecilia Rodriguez
Last updated 11:28pm (Mla time) 08/29/2007

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The government is setting aside more than P10
billion for the cultivation of Jatropha carcus in Northern Mindanao as
alternative source of clean fuel.

Gilda Pico, president of the Land Bank of the Philippines, said during
Monday's forum with President Macapagal-Arroyo in Talakag, Bukidnon that
the funds would be loaned out to rural farmers of jatropha.

Talakag hosts a demo farm for jatropha cultivation.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said it allocated
P2.2 billion for reforestation of barren and uncultivated lands that
would be used for jatropha production.

Ms Arroyo said the government's support for jatropha cultivation was
also part of its reforestation program.

"If we want to transform reforestation from a fad to a mass movement,
then we must demonstrate that income can be derived from altruism. The
green version of the gold rush is only possible if people equate tree
planting as placing time deposit with short maturity and shared yield,"
she said.

The rising prices of oil in the world market have prompted the
government to find alternative sources that can be developed. These
included fuel additives from sugarcane and jatropha.

Bukidnon Gov. Jose Zubiri said that in the province alone, at least
60,000 hectares of land could be used for jatropha planting.

Philippine National Oil Co.'s Alternative Fuels Corp. said that in
Mindanao, at least 700,000 ha could be used for the cultivation of the

AFC officials announced that a jatropha processing plant would be built
in the Phividec Estates in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, in 2009.

The plant, they said, could produce at least 1 million tons of bio-diesel.

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