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Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Jatropha powered Zambia, 2nd Edition

The African Business Review on yet another Jatropha project :

In Zambia, large quantities of Jatropha hedges exist, which the population has neglected over the years. Planting Jatropha for biodiesel production has become a viable business in Zimbabwe, with government and industry studies suggesting that biodiesel can potentially contribute 30 percent of Zimbabwe's fuel needs and create thousands of new jobs. It is no wonder that a similar initiative has been launched in Zambia. The Zambian Development Agency and MAN Ferrostaal AG of Germany signed an integrated biodiesel industry Memorandum (MoU) of Understanding in 2009. The MoU will facilitate the securing of finance and acquiring of 150,000 hectares of land for the project.
This 150,000 hectares with the Germans is separate from a previous 2 million hectares request from China. Part of the 2 million is presumably linked to this. Not sure how much land is being provided through secretive memorandums, but for those trying to contextualise, Zambia has about 75m hectares, so the Chinese request was around 3% of the land mass.  Much of the land of course is in rural areas, but with significant displacement effects.  Make that what you will!

8 comments:

  1. State targets 83m litres of biodiesel

    By KALONDE NYATI

    GOVERNMENT has targeted to produce 83 million litres of biodiesel this year as part of its national energy strategy.

    Under the energy strategy a further 21 million litres of biodiesel will be produced with a five percent-rate blending.

    Minister of Energy and Water Development Kenneth Konga said this at the launch of a civil society biofuels assessment report in Lusaka yesterday.
    Mr Konga said the country will begin with the production of 17 million litres of biodiesel.

    He said the country is spending huge amounts of foreign exchange on the importation of 650,000 tonnes of feedstock annually, which he said is consuming 10 percent of foreign exchange earnings.
    Mr Konga said the volatility of the petroleum prices on the international market has made Government realise the urgent need to develop the biofuels sector in the country.

    ReplyDelete
  2. State targets 83m litres of biodiesel

    By KALONDE NYATI

    GOVERNMENT has targeted to produce 83 million litres of biodiesel this year as part of its national energy strategy.

    Under the energy strategy a further 21 million litres of biodiesel will be produced with a five percent-rate blending.

    Minister of Energy and Water Development Kenneth Konga said this at the launch of a civil society biofuels assessment report in Lusaka yesterday.
    Mr Konga said the country will begin with the production of 17 million litres of biodiesel.

    He said the country is spending huge amounts of foreign exchange on the importation of 650,000 tonnes of feedstock annually, which he said is consuming 10 percent of foreign exchange earnings.
    Mr Konga said the volatility of the petroleum prices on the international market has made Government realise the urgent need to develop the biofuels sector in the country.

    “A number of farmers and investors have taken up growing energy crops such as jatropha, sweet sorghum and soya for biofuel production,” he said.

    Mr Konga, however, said while Government is encouraging the production of biofuels, there is need to ensure that food security is not undermined.
    “Government would like to see the biofuel sub-sector contributing significantly to poverty reduction by increasing rural incomes, job creation, addition to the value chain and increasing our foreign exchange earnings,” he said.

    Mr Konga also warned against contractual bonding of small-scale farmers and out-growers who are being tied up to 30 years to grow a particular energy crop.
    “Government deplores such practices, and will not condone such arrangements in the biofuels sub-sector,” he said.

    And speaking earlier, Civil Society BioFuels Forum chairman Marriot Nyangu said there is need to address Government policies relating to the biofuels industry as the current policies are not clear.

    Mr Nyangu said there is limited local scientific research indicating the impact of the industry on the environment and land use.

    Oxfam livelihoods coordinator Bwendo Kabanda said biofuels could provide a sustainable energy alternative for poor people.

    Mr Kabanda said his organisation is committed to ensuring that more people realise their right to secure sustainable livelihoods.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The source of the above story is dailymail Zambia (forgot to cite it).

    It seems bio-diesel is something that will be in Zambia's economic future. Frankly I think it is a very good idea. This will reduce the strain of external oil shocks that affect our economy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This 150,000 hectares with the Germans is separate from a previous 2 million hectares request from China. Part of the 2 million is presumably linked to this. Not sure how much land is being provided through secretive memorandums, but for those trying to contextualise, Zambia has about 75m hectares, so the Chinese request was around 3% of the land mass. Much of the land of course is in rural areas, but with significant displacement effects. Make that what you will!

    I say none of these deals should stand until they are discussed in and ratified by Parliament.

    This is far too large a deal to be secret. Considering the land is supposed to go to a specific country, this is a matter of national security.

    If at any time in the future, China would have severe problems with supplying food or drinking water to it's people, what action are they going to take? Are they going to shift their population to Africa, and colonize Africa for a second time. This time with countries which actually have enough of a population (unlike Britain, Belgium, etc.) to displace the African population? In which they will be supported by the Chinese Army?

    Giving so much land for use to China not only reeks of corruption, it is treason.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mr K,
    Are you suggesting that nothing should ever get done in Zambia just for the sake of politics?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I doubt that biofuel will ever become that big in Zambia except on a small scale of "grow and use your own". This is because of government's habit of taxing everything to death. At present for instance sunflower oil is worth more as cooking oil than fuel. Tax on cooking oil is 16 %, tax on fuel about 50%.
    Of course the most sensible transport for Zambia is electric because we produce our own electricity, its cheaper than fuel and we can charge off peak. Unfortunately the tax on a $5000 electric vehicle is K50,000,000! The real winner is the running cost - about K80,000 of electricity per month running 80-100km per day.
    I want one but I can't pay the tax...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jatropha in Namibia:

    http://www.africanagricultureblog.com/2010/06/jatropha-goes-from-buzz-to-bust-in.html

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jatropha is an excellent option for the future an and the environment!

    ReplyDelete

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