Ugandan farmers have been urged to grow nonfood oil crops that can be used to produce biodiesel as a way of minimising revenue that is levied on diesel imported into the country.
Speaking to farmers at Hotel International recently, Diana Nnakayima, the African Power Initiative (API) project manager, encouraged farmers to grow crops such as Candlenut, jatropha castor and croton, from which Uganda can produce diesel at a cheaper price.
Nnakayima said Uganda already has an operational mini refinery at the African Power Initiative offices in Kansanga, with capacity of 4,000 liters per day.
However, the refinery requires more food stock.
"If we get enough food stock, diesel production will definitely increase to 60,000 liters per day, thus increasing the country's income," she added.
Nnakayima said production of biodiesel will help reduce taxes charged on diesel imported in the country and provide a clean high quality energy option to petrol diesel.
She added that such crops are good for combatting climate change and are of no harm to the immediate environment.
"The nonfood crops reduce greenhouse emissions," Nnakayima noted.
She said biodiesel can be blended with petrol diesel and used in vehicles and appliances such as generators, as well as furnaces.
"Biodiesel has a high power of ignition and combustion, which offers greater safety in transportation," Nnakayima noted.
She added that biodiesel is needed to meet the increasing energy demand in the country, which is projected to reach 1,809MWH in 2025.
Tabitha Maseruka, the project manager of Cinergy Global, a sister company to API, said Ugandans will benefit from the project in terms of job opportunities.
"Ugandans will not only get jobs from this project, but also get cheap diesel," she said.