Jatropha has assumed significance as a potential for biodiesel manufacture in Tamil Nadu.

Southern Railway produces biodiesel using pongamia oil, but they pay Rs 35 per litre. Jatropha oil may, however, be priced higher, at Rs 45 per litre, due to the cost of oil-rich seeds.

The farmer who produces the seeds has the right to fix the price of his seeds through the State Farmers Forum and the Bio-fuel Society in Tamil Nadu.

In spite of various eminent personalities strongly advocating the need to focus on alternative fuels, it is unfortunate repeated that there is but an indifferent response from the nationalised banks to extend loans for such crops. If more Jatropha is produced on barren lands and wasteland, excellent seeds can be ensured from every nook and corner of the country.

S. A. Alagarsamy

Chennai

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 11, 2006)
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