BANGALORE: “Biofuel Information Centres will be set up in all the districts in the next three months,” Chairman of the Karnataka State Biofuel Development Board (KSBDB) Y B Ramakrishna said on Saturday.
Speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of a Biofuel Research Centre in the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, on the GKVK campus, Ramakrishna said, “In addition to the existing 17 information centres, 13 more centres will be opened in the coming months. Besides providing all sorts of information on biofuels, these centres will be designed to collect different types of non-edible oil seeds, extract oil with 500-600 kg of seed crushing capacity per day and produce 100 to 150 litres of bio-diesel per day,” he added.
The bio-diesel produced will be blended with petrol and diesel and used in several vehicles belonging to board and the university and the de-oiled cake will be used/sold as organic manure, he stated.
He also appreciated the government efforts to promote biofuel.
“At present, Karnataka has the capacity to produce 135 million litres of ethanol from molasses, which will be increased to 200 million litres by this year end. Karnataka is the first state in the country to formulate a biofuel policy, create a task force and constitute a board for the promotion of biofuel,” he explained.
On the occasion, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda inaugurated a national workshop on Rural Agriculture Work Experience (RAWE) Programme and launched the biofuel park website.
The workshop was jointly organised by the UAS, Bangalore, and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Biofuel Development Board. Informing about the RAWE programme, Vice-Chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences Dr K Narayana Gowda said, “Under the programme, the students are given rigorous orientation on various issues and problems they can expect in the farmer’s fields and provides real time opportunity for them to work on complete crop season through various extension methods.”
RAWE, which has been a part of the course offered in the 8th semester, henceforth will be offered in the 7th semester and coincide with the Kharif season and the students will be placed in the Raitha Samparka Kendras.
The duration has been extended from four weeks to 12 weeks from next batch, he explained.
The State government has come forward to extend stipend from this year to each student at `1,500 per month besides, extending other facilities for effective implementation of the programme, in addition to `750 given by the university and the ICAR.