In a bid to actualize President Yoweri Museveni’s call on investment towards Jatropha trees, a team of Malaysian investors have tabled project blueprints to the president ahead of a 70 billion US dollar investment in the country.
The president met the investors early this week.
The 18-man team of investors from Malayisa and China met President Museveni at State House Entebbe following a field visit in Kiboko where the team wants to establish mega projects which among them will be a Jatropha tree planting.
Executive Chairman Jeffrey Onegi Obel Bionas East Africa noted that, “In 2011 you announced that people should invest in Jatropha if the country is to attain middle income status and this team from Malaysia is heeded to that call.”
Jatropha is a flowering plant whose seeds are very rich in oil. Crude oil from its seeds can be refined into biodiesel for the diesel fuel requirements in generators and engines.
The team from Malaysia is set to carry out a multi dollar project in Koboko in oraba. President Museveni however advised them to consider farmers with enough land to avoid affecting the food channel
Not to affect cash crop production the team is to invest in backyard gardens for all farmers who will be taking part in the project.
Bionas Group CEO Zurina Amnan said, “All farmers will have to grow crops for home use and be able to sell the surplus and not to only grow Jatropha and lead to food insecurity.”
The team will set up a refinery in all the districts where Jatropha will be grown to enable farmers squeeze the oil themselves and rule out monotony.
Dr Wardah Rajab Gyagenda Chief of Operations Bionas said, “We will set up a local machine that farmers will use and we expect to produce over 50,000 barrels of oil each day.”
In Koboko where the project will be launched in August, the farmers can not wait to venture into this new trade, many of them have grown tobacco for sometime with many yet to reap from it. The team presented blue prints of their projects to President Museveni
Bionas has secured land in Isingiro, Koboko, Yumbe and would like to have all these projects across the country. The biofuel from Jatropha will be blended in the existing fossil fuels.