Indore: Emphasizing on accelerating the production of biofuels in the country to reduce dependence on imports of crude oil and fuel gases, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said he himself took the initiative to convert his tractor into a CNG vehicle. have taken. Gadkari was addressing the International Soyabean Conference organized by Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA) in Indore through video conference.
He said, “I myself have converted my (diesel-powered) tractor to a CNG-powered vehicle. To reduce our dependence on imports of crude oil and fuel gases, we have to remove the stubble from the fields of crops like soybean, wheat, paddy, cotton etc. Production of biofuels like Bio-CNG and Bio-LNG from crop waste) should be promoted. This will also give additional income to the farmers from farming.”
The Road Transport Minister said this at a time when the prices of petroleum fuels in the country have reached a record level due to the rise in international crude oil prices, which has increased the burden of inflation on the common man. Gadkari also told that at present India is importing 65 percent of its edible oil requirement and the country has to spend one lakh 40 thousand crore rupees every year on this import.
“Due to this import, on one hand the prices of edible oils are high in the consumer market of the country, on the other hand the domestic farmers growing oilseeds are not getting good price for their produce,” he said. Gadkari stressed that in order to achieve India’s goal of self-reliance in edible oil production, the country should move towards development of GM soybean seeds on the lines of Mustard Gene Enhanced (GM) seeds as existing seeds of soybean There are different drawbacks.
He said, “I have also discussed with the Prime Minister (regarding GM seeds of soybeans) and I know that many people in the country are opposed to GM seeds of food crops. But we are not going to import that soybean oil from other countries. which is extracted only from GM soybeans. The Union Minister also said that there is a need for detailed research on making food products from soya oil cake (the residue after extraction of soybean oil) to address malnutrition, especially in tribal areas.
He said, “In our country thousands of people of tribal community are dying due to malnutrition due to lack of protein in many areas. Soya cake is rich in protein.” Gadkari appealed to the agricultural scientists of India to try to initiate a joint development program of seed development with the top global producers of this oilseed crop-USA, Brazil and Argentina to increase the production capacity per acre of soybean.