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Chhattisgarh mulls plan to become first Indian state make biofuel from rice

Chief Minister Baghel says farming activity in the state was conducive to making fuel from rice, even sugarcane was in surplus and there would be no raw material crisis

R Krishna Das  |  Raipur 

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Chhattisgarh is planning to produce biofuel from rice and other agriculture products.

If the project succeeds, the state, once known as the rice-bowl of the country, would be the first state to make biofuel from the grain, state government officials claimed.

“Agriculture scientists, researchers and industry have been asked to prepare a strategy to produce biofuel from rice and other agriculture produce,” Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said. The project of biofuel from rice would be an innovation not in the state but also in the country, he added.

The Chief Minister exhorted that a coordinated efforts were inevitable for making biofuel production and farming viable. Baghel said farming activity in the state was conducive to making fuel from rice crop and even sugarcane was in surplus. He asserted that feeding biofuel plants would not give rise to a raw material crisis in Chhattisgarh.

The state government and the Indian Institute of Technology (Bhilai) had inked a deal to explore the possibilities of designing the project.

The move to use rice for biofuel is seen as a major strategic decision of the Bhupesh Baghel government that came to power six months ago. It would ensure the consumption of rice as the flow would be increasing over the years given that the Chhattisgarh government had hiked minimum support price (MSP) for rice to Rs 2,500 a quintal as part of Congress’ pre-poll promises for state elections.

Baghel claimed rice stock would be surplus in Chhattisgarh. “The states to which Chhattisgarh was selling rice have become self sufficient,” he added.

The state government had procured eight million tonnes of rice at MSP in the kharif marketing season 2018-19. The production in the state is however much higher.

First Published: Tue, May 21 2019. 16:36 IST