By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
Determined to reclaim degradable land, boost employment opportunities and ensure availability of clean fuel, the Federal Government through the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bionas Nigeria for the implementation of the jathropha value chain development.
The project is also expected to check land erosion and pollution.
At the signing of the MoU in Abuja on Monday, Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne said that President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to attract more investors into the country.
Ikonne said the jathropha chain will also checkmate erosion and restore lost value of land.
In his remarks, Mr. Umar Gambo, CEO, Bionas Nigeria, said jathropha plant produces very well on degradable land, hence the collaboration with NALDA, which has mandate of managing land.
Gambo explained that the crop has a lifestyle of 50 years and produces seed every six months thereby boosting income of the farmer.
The Bionas CEO said jobs will also be created in the factories where biofuel will be produced.
Similarly, he said, states that key into the programme will earn resources from restored lands.
Jatropha curcas is a multiple purpose plant with potential for biodiesel production and medicinal uses.
Bionas Nigeria is a member of the Bionas Agropolitan Technology Corridor Development group from Malaysia.
Bionas is global leader in Jathropha production.