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26.03.2008 Business & Finance

Boost For Bio Diesel

By Daily Guide

Jatropha Africa Limited, a subsidiary of Lion Bridge Ventures in the United Kingdom, is to invest $20 million in Jatropha plantations to produce bio-diesel in Ghana.

A director of the company, Ohene Akoto said this at a roundtable meeting with officials of the United Nation Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Deputy Ministers of Food and Agriculture and Energy in Accra.

He said UNIDO and JICA officials are in the country to hold discussions with officials of the two ministries to sensitize them on the importance of bio-diesel development. This, he said, was in view of the recent rise in the prices of crude oil on the international market.

Mr Akoto said Jatropha plantations will be established in the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions. According to him, hectares of land have been acquired for the project to take off.

“Jatropha, the wonder plant, produces seeds with an oil content of 26 percent while the by-product can be pressed into cakes for organic fertilizer and also contains an effective ingredient for insecticide production,” he said.

A Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Ms Anna Nyamekye, said the government is prepared to create an enabling environment to ensure the establishment of the company.

She was hopeful that the investment the company intended to make would create wealth and jobs for the youth.

Ms Nyamekye assured the investors that her ministry would impress upon extension officers and other experts to offer technical advice to ensure the success of the project.

A Deputy Minister of Energy, Kwame Ampofo Twum, said the establishment of the plantation will help to solve the energy problem in the country.

He said government has put in place effective mechanisms to help investors who are ready to go into Jatropha production.

He appealed to farmers to go into the production of the plant and urged the company to explore more market avenues for the product.

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