Resources, Energy, and Development
Year : 2005, Volume : 2, Issue : 1
Print ISSN : 0973-0516.
Scope of biofuel plantation as a livelihood option: case study from Jharkhand and Orissa in India
Bhattacharya P, Yadav D K (1), Chaudhary P K (2), Mittra B. (3)
Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal – 462 003, India
(1) Alumnus, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal – 462 003, India
(2) Alumnus, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal – 462 003, India
(3) Sir Dorabji Tata Trust – International Centre for Community Forestry Project, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal – 462 003, India
In the scenario of imminent energy crises fuelled by huge import bills and rising prices of petro-based products, biofuels seem to be options of the future. Some promising biofuel species like Jatropha and Pongamia are being used traditionally for domestic purposes in many parts of India.
The Planning Commission of India has taken major initiatives in its Tenth Five-year Plan in various states for cultivation of biofuel species. In light of the above, this study was conducted in 15 villages and 12 villages, respectively, in the tribal-dominated areas of Jharkhand and Orissa to understand the scope for cultivation of these species.
This paper looks at the existing availability of biofuel tree species and the quantity of seeds collected for local consumption and sale. It focuses on the scope of biofuel plantations and establishment of biofuel extraction units at the village level, and the livelihood and employment opportunities that could be created through the activities under the programme. The findings suggest that biofuel plantations in the rural areas could be strategic for generating employment and reducing migration in the villages.
The paper also suggests that it can be beneficial to establish oil extraction units across a cluster of villages where density of biofuel species is high. It concludes by stating that the scope for biofuel plantation could be improved by adopting several variants of agro-forestry, such as agri-silviculture, silvi- horticulture, and silvi-pasture in unutilized areas such as farm boundaries and available wastelands, thus meeting both cash as well as subsistence requirements of farmers.