Senegal announces biofuel programme

Friday 15 December 2006

In a bid to decrease its dependence on fossil oil imports and produce environment-friendly energy, Senegal has announced the launching of a biofuel-production programme in cooperation with Brazil and India.

The project is part of the Senegalese government's plan to improve rural economy through investment in biofuels, which will eventually replace the country's daily consumption of 33,000 oil barrels, said Farba Senghor, Senegal's minister of agriculture, rural hydraulics and food security, at a recent meeting with a delegation of Brazilian biofuel experts. Brazil will provide scientific and technological know how and Indian entrepreneurs will supply the capital, while Senegal will offer its land and labour. Under the pilot project, jatropha plants will be grown on 4,000 ha of land in Touba, which is expected to cut down its oil imports by 10 per cent. Besides jatropha, the country also plans to carry out an experiment of growing castor oil and sunflower plants over an area of 50,000 ha in Kolda and Tambacounda, in southern and eastern Senegal.

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