Monday, August 13, 2007

[PBN] Thousands of Tanzanian peasants to be displaced for biofuel farm


Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) A British firm, Sun Biofuels PLC, has been
given the go ahead by the authorities in Tanzania to embark on a massive
multimillion dollar biofuel project that will involve the displacement
of thousands of peasants in the Kisarawe district of the Coast Region
for the 9,000 hectares of land needed by the foreign investor, APA
learnt Sunday.

"The process of acquiring land for the project is at an advanced stage
and only awaiting President Jakaya Kikwete's formal approval, a total of
11 villages will be cleared," the Kisarawe district land officer, Leo
Rwegasira, stated.

He told APA that about US$ 632,411.067 will be paid to a total of 2,840
households as compensation.

The investment is expected directly or indirectly to employ about 1,000
local people for a start.

Estimated to cost about US$ 20million, the agro-processing project will
entail large scale planting of jatropha oil seeds.

According to the 2002 population census, the households in the area had
a total of 11,277 people residing in the 11 villages.

The Kisarawe District Council Chairman, Omar Dibibi, said the Jatropha
biofuel project would catalyse the district's economy and give Kisarawe
residents a new cash crop.

The investment is expected to employ directly or indirectly over 1000
local people for the start, a figure that could rise as the project expands.

Experts say that while jatropha curcas seeds can be used as fuel for any
diesel engine without modification, they are also used in manufacturing
of varnishes, illuminants, soap, pest control and medicine for skin

But according to a recent study entitled " Prospects for Jatropha
Biofuels in Developing Countries: An Analysis for Tanzania with
Strategic Niche Management" there are many obstacles in Tanzania's
energy regime that could impede the emerging transition towards jatropha.



African Press Agency
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