Indian biotech company launches bio-fuel farm in Ethiopia

By Andualem Sisay, AfricaNews

ADDIS ABABA — Emami Biotech Ltd, a member of India’s Emami Group Company, which is engaged in various investment areas, on Friday, began covering 10, 000 hectares of land in Ethiopia with jatropha for production of bio-fuel.

The company in planning to cover a total of 40,000 hectares of land in Ethiopia with jatropha and castor bean with in the next three years. This will be converted into 100,000 tons of bio fuel every year after five years, Vinthal R. Karoshi the General Manager of Emami Biotech Ltd Ethiopian Branch, told Addis Admass, a local weekly Amharic language newspaper.

As a result after five years, the country will be able to save some 600 million USD every year that it used to spend for importing fuel or it at least gets that much hard currency from the export of Emami’s bio-fuel in addition to the taxes it collects from the company. The general manager also stated that in the coming years, the company plans to cover 15,000 hectares of land every year with jatropha and castor bean.

The company is currently producing 100,000 tons of bio-fuel from jatropha evry year in Kolkata, India. According to the Mr. Karoshi, the company will create tens of thousands of jobs since covering one hectare of land with jatropha requires 170 employees. Appreciating the Oromia Regional government authorities for providing the company the required land within less than one month, he expressed his hope that the country will soon liberate its citizens from poverty.

Emami Limited specializes in manufacturing health, beauty and personal care products with over 25 years experience.

The seed will be ready to be processed and converted into bio-fuel after three years and it gives the same amount of yield every year for 45 years afterwards.

The government has made available 24 million hectares of land for bio-fuel generating companies like Global energy one of the biggest bio-fuel producer in the world and 20 other foreign companies registered to invest in the sector. Out of this, six are already on the ground and are planting or completed planting jantropha and other non food item plants for generation of bio-fuel.