Monday, 10 October 2011

Uttar Pradesh stands out in Jatropha Cultivation

Both biodiesel and conventional diesel come from plant and animal sources, the difference is the resources that produce diesel existed millions of years ago and the one that make biodiesel are cultivated today. The National biofuel policy of India has put India in a different club than the rest of the world. Network programs of the Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India are striving to find best cultivars of Jatropha curcas, cultural practices to optimize yields, genetic enhancement to develop site specific cultivars and make good planting material available to farmers.

Uttar Pradesh has formulated a unique, farmer friendly and participatory model for Jatropha cultivation. It involves farmers, landless labor, Corporations, technical support from government agencies like Biotechnology Park and policy support through State government agencies.

The Government of Uttar Pradesh has earmarked 40% of its wasteland (15.83 lakh hectares) for cultivation of Jatropha in the state. The State Government since year 2006-07, has decided to encourage farmers to undertake cultivation of Jetropha in about 10 lakh hectares of wastelands in 30 districts of the State pertaining to Varanasi, Mirzapur, Allahabad, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow and Agra Divisions. The Government of Uttar Pradesh had also made an arrangement of establishing Bio-Diesel Value Chain with M/s Bharat Petrolium Corporation Ltd. and its associate companies. Indian Oil Corporation in collaboration Ruchi Biofuel is concentrating in the wastelands of dry belt of Jhansi region; while Bharat Petroleum in collaboration with Nandan Biomatrix is operative in other 30 districts of the State. These corporations are working in a PPP model facilitated by State Jatropha Mission Cell. This model has inherent safeguards and benefits. The lands have not been allotted to corporations rather the farmers and Panchayats have ownership not only of the land but also of produce. Their involvement in true sense is the key to the success of the program. Procurement of the seeds will be ensured by the Corporations who are genuine stakeholders; and the State government will check any exploitation of the cultivators.

Uttar Pradesh may well become a success story in the Country and may be able to provide feed stock for its own biodiesel requirement as well as meet requirement of other States much like ethanol for petrol blending. It will have a potential to produce a minimum of 10 lakh tons of oil per year if the wasteland is put to Jatropha cultivation. This initiative would also help in reduction of Green House Gas emission by 3 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) on an annual basis.

It therefore is just a matter of time when Uttar Pradesh will pave the way for rural entrepreneurship in augmentation of bio-diesel produce. Thus the people even at village level will also be able to contribute in Industrial Development of the State..

Hari M Behl,
Biotech Park, Lucknow


  1. What is the current state of this development? We don't hear anything about it; is this move also is now in cold bags as are the various other schemes in UP?

  2. who to get seed and start plantation and where we can supply our harvest??
    Please help me