There are more than 150 species of plants that could be used for biofuel production. Important among them in Karnataka are Honge (Pongamia pinnata), Neem (Azadiracta indica), Hippe (Maduca latifolia), Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) and Simarouba (Simarouba glauca). A field survey was conducted in Alur taluk of Hassan District, (75Âº 9Â´ to 12Âº 9Â´) Karnataka, to know the abundance of biofuel plant species and to estimate resource availability for extraction of oil and production of Biodiesel. The number of Households in the study villages ranged from 120 to 600 with population ranging from 60 to 2,500 and number of productive Honge trees varied from 3 to 2,000 trees/village yielding on an average around 2 to 10 kg seeds per tree with very few Neem and Hippe trees but Jatropha plants were present in every village with very low yielding potential (50-100 grams per plant). Majority of the biofuel plants present were in vegetative stage and few were yielding. The yield of biofuel plant species is quite promising and the process of seed for oil extraction is possible and provides employment to the rural youth in the taluk. The substantial demand has been noticed in Alur taluk for Honge and Neem oil cakes and the availability is meager. Substantial scope is available for growing of biofuel trees, seed collection, processing and marketing providing additional employment to rural people. There is an increased demand for the biofuels and by utilizing the available resources the rural youth can start their own enterprise.
Biofuel, Hippe, Jatropha, Organic Manure, Pongamia, Rural employment
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