INDIA: Promote biodiesel as global crude prices rise, National Council of Applied Economic Research

Rising global crude oil prices may not have anything positive for the economy, but they provide an opportunity to tap other energy resources like biodiesel, according to an economic think tank.

"Global rise in prices of crude augurs well for biodisel. It has already become quite profitable," says the latest edition of 'Track', brought out by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).

National Council of Applied Economic Research has asked for government intervention to promote cultivation of feedstock for biodiesel.

"To achieve significant scale of production jatropha would have to be grown on a larger scale requiring cultivation by a large number of farmers and investments by small and large entrepreneurs to set up processing units," the report said.

However, the growth of biodiesel programme in the country over the past years has been quite slow, it said.

One of the primary reasons for this is the failure of the government to help create appropriate local level institutions like marketing channels and to erect a system of dissemination of information and technology to farmers, it said.

Therefore, the government should launch a campaign highlighting the benefits, costs, cultivation techniques, sources of seedlings and other inputs, prices of seeds, purchasing agencies for seeds and simultaneously set up the required state agencies to coordinate R&D with cultivation.

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