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Page added on February 27, 2007

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Zambia: Bio-Fuel – Experts Call for Caution

It is envisaged that although bio-fuel cannot completely replace fossil fuels, it can help the Government reduce costs on crude importation if significant quantities are produced within the country.

However, the latest minister’s tour of Sherrif Estates in Serenje and Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust (GART) on the Great North road in Lusaka reveals that the country needs to be conscious on its path to embrace bio-fuel as a supplement to fossil fuel.
Head of research and development, Douglas Moono, said experts had keenly followed the excitement on Jatropha and production of bio-fuels, adding that there was need for adequate research on the plant.


Mr Moono said there was need for caution in the way the Government was trying to come up with the production of bio-fuels, especially effects on the environment and the disposal of remains needed to be taken care of.


He said there was also need to regulate the importation of Jatropha plants until research was done to find out their suitability to the Zambian situation.

“As Zambia we need to know the effects of Jatropha remains, especially that on the international level it has been agreed that by 2020, 20 per cent of mineral fuels should be replaced by bio-fuels,” he said.


The danger was to allow any one to grow the plant without any control measures that would protect animals and the environment.


Bio-energy can succeed in Zambia if energy crops do not impact on food security but provide opportunities to benefit small-scale farmers who may be engaged in growing Jatropha.

AllAfrica



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