[ manilstandardtoday.com ] February 19, 2009
By Alena Mae S. Flores
PNOC-Alternative Fuels Corp. signed an agreement with the Tagkawayan Jatropha Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative to cultivate jatropha in over 512 hectares of land in Quezon province.
Under the production, technical and marketing agreement signed on Feb. 9, PNOC-Alternative Fuels will purchase jatropha seeds and extend technical assistance to the Tagkawayan Cooperative.
PNOC-Alternative Fuels will conduct validation of the land size and suitability to propagate jatropha, provide specification of seedlings, purchase the seeds to be delivered by the Tagkawayan Cooperative at P4.50 per kilo and give technical support relative to the establishment of a nursery.
The Tagkawayan Cooperative will submit a list of farmer-participants, identify lands, secure loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines, make available the planting materials and deliver the seeds.
The cooperative is composed of a group of landowners in Quezon province willing to allocate a consolidated 517-hectare land for jatropha development.
PNOC-Alternative Fuels president and chief executive Romeo Tolentino and Jose Serrano, Jr., chairman of the Tagkawayan Jatropha Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, signed the agreement.
PNOC-Alternative Fuels identified jatropha curcas, known popularly as tuba-tuba, as the most productive and economical feedstock for bio-fuel production.
The League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Rizal Provincial Chapter also offered 600 hectares of idle lands in Tanay for jatropha production.
PNOC-Alternative Fuels uses idle military lands in Nueva Ecija and marginal cogonal lands in Cagayan de Oro in coming up with the biggest jatropha nursery-cum-pilot plantation in the country, with a total of 787 hectares.
PNOC-Alternative Fuels is mandated to explore, develop and accelerate the use of alternative fuels to enhance the country’s energy security in line with the government’s policy of reducing dependence on imported oil and utilizing indigenous renewable energy sources.
Bio-fuels are significantly less carbon neutral than other forms of renewable energy. A way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is to use biofuels to replace non-reneweable energy sources.