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February 07, 2011

Zambian power company to buy jatropha from small scale farmers

by Chiwoyu Sinyangwe

CEC Plc will this year purchase 200,000 litres of crude jatropha from peasant farmers in Kapiri Mposhi, a move the firm says will help Zambia reduce its heavy reliance on imported petroleum products.

The Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) was establishing a pilot plant for processing jatropha oil into bio-diesel, initially to feed part of its own fuel requirements.

The sole supplier of power to Copperbelt-based mining firms said when market conditions allowed, it would expand into a commercial operation of the biofuel unit.

It stated that the move would also help to make a dent on rural poverty through support to targeted incremental change within biofuel value chain.

CEC, the Zambian branch of Netherlands international development, SNV, and Kapiri Mposhi Jatropha Growers’ Association, signed the memorandum of understanding for the development of small-scale farmers and processors of jatropha within the Central Province town.

Jatropha processors, NANOFA enterprises and Kapiri Bio Products (KBP) were the other parties to the agreement.

“At the core of which is the supply and purchase of 200,000 litres of crude jatropha oil and support to targeted incremental change whining the biofuel value chain,” CEC and SNV announced in media release.

“CEC will, in 2011, purchase a minimum of 200,000 litres of crude Jatropha oil to be supplied by NANOFA and KBP who are expected to purchase and process at least 600,000 kilogrammes of good quality seed from small-scale farmers of the crop in Kapiri Mposhi through Mposhi Jatropha Growers’ Association.”

CEC stated that the price at which it would buy the crude from the two processors had been negotiated and “mutually agreed” among the parties to the agreement.

CEC will also make available for sale to NANOFA and KBP for use in their soap-making operations, the glycerol to be produced from the refinery process.

Zambia Post

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