Diversify agriculture towards energy and power sectors: Nitin Gadkari

With a view to reduce dependence on the huge import of petroleum products, the Centre has decided to launch flex engines in India.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, said on Saturday that the country spends Rs 15 lakh crore per year for import of petroleum products, hence there is a need to diversify the agriculture sector towards energy and power sectors.

Addressing the felicitation programme of National Cogeneration Awards 2022 in Mumbai, Gadkari exhorted the industry of the crucial need to focus on alternative fuels with the help of futuristic technologies.

“While 65-70 per cent of our population depends on agriculture, our agricultural growth rate is 12-13 per cent only. The sugarcane industry and farmers are a growth engine for our industry. The next move should be cogeneration to increase revenue from sugar.

“The industry should produce less sugar and generate more byproducts, embracing the vision for futuristic technologies and using the power of leadership to convert knowledge into wealth. This will enable the farmers to become not only food growers, but energy producers as well,” Gadkari said.

The minister said that while our requirement was 280 lakh tonnes of sugar this year, the production was more than 360 lakh tonnes.

“This could be utilised due to the situation in Brazil. However, we need to divert production towards ethanol as ethanol requirement is very high. Last year’s capacity was 400 crore litres of ethanol; we have taken a lot of initiatives to increase ethanol production. Now is the time for the industry to plan demand for ethanol using technologies such as power generators run by bioethanol,” Gadkari said.

The minister also told the industry that the government has decided to launch flex engines in India.

“Bajaj, Hero and TVS are already making flex engines, many car manufacturers too have promised to launch their models on flex engines,” he said.

“Even auto-rickshaws can be run on bioethanol; in the construction equipment industry too, alternative fuels can be used. Similarly, Germany has proven technology to run trains on bio-ethanol,” Gadkari said.




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