Jatropha Oil Environmental Friendly, Enhance Rural Development Economy, the Future Energy Sources

Harian Metro - 1 Disember 2008


The plant, which originated from Central America centuries ago, is now cultivated in Malaysia.

Unlike petroleum, which causes pollution, jarak oil is environmentally-friendly.

Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman recently said that under a jatropha planting programme, Bionas would buy back the produce as a way to encourage more people to increase their family income by cultivating the trees.
Currently, Johor has eight nurseries and Bionas collection centres to enable planters to sell their produce.

Ghani said the country was focusing on the agricultural sector which was the main source of income for rural people, therefore the people should be ready to accept changes and be brave enough to plunge into the sector. His speech was read by Muar district officer Abdul Rahman Jaffar at the Bukit Pasir industrial site here recently.

Rahman also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Bionas and Muar Ban Lee Technology and launched the jatropha oil seed crushing machine at the Bionas plant.

Ghani said the government would continue to take steps to upgrade the standard of living, income and economy of the rural community.

"We will offer more facilities and incentives to enable them to keep abreast of developments."

He said with the opening of the new industry like the Jarak processing plant, more job opportunities would be created and jarak planters could bring in a new source of income to further strengthen the country's economy.

Bionas Group executive chairman Mohd Safi'e M. Jaffri said the jarak plant could become the third national crop after rubber and oil palm.

He said more than l.7 million hectares had been planted with jarak trees, 7,500ha of them in Johor.

Mohd Safi'e said the Bionas Group had invested RM45 million on nine processing plants, including jatropha seed crushing machines in various locations nationwide.

The first plant was in Felda Air Tawar 5 in Kota Tinggi, which has a capacity of producing 12,000 million tonnes of raw jarak oil a year.

He also said the group had appointed 206 companies as nurseries and Bionas collection centres.

In Johor, the nurseries were in Johor Baru and Kota Tinggi (two each), while there is one nursery each in Mersing, Kluang, Muar and Batu Pahat.

Muar Ban Lee Technology chief executive officer Chua Heok Wee said the company specialises in making palm kernel, palm oil, copra and coconut crushing machines, which are exported to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Nigeria and Thailand.

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