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Govt gives farmers oil extractors, pongamia decorticators to boost bio-fuel production

A total of 10 mini vegetable oil extraction machines and 8 pongamia pod decorticators have been distributed recently to farmers’ self-help groups at Hassan district, Karnataka, which are linked to farmers’ producer organizations.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

In a bid to increase production of bio-fuel to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of producing 175 GW of non-fossil fuel, the Centre in collaboration with Karnataka government has distributed newly developed pongamia (karanj) pod decorticators and oil extraction machines to farmers to improve biofuel production in the country.

These machines have been developed at the Bangalore based University of Agricultural Sciences with grant-in-aid from SYST program, SEED Division of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), under a project titled: ‘Development and evaluation of pongamia pod decorticator and mini vegetable seed oil extraction machine’, a Science and Technology ministry note here stated.

A total of 10 mini vegetable oil extraction machines and 8 pongamia pod decorticators have been distributed recently to farmers’ self-help groups at Hassan district, Karnataka, which are linked to farmers’ producer organizations.

The newly developed oil extraction machines and pongamia pod decorticators will help improve bio-fuel production and by-product utilisation at the village level to augment the income of farmers in Hassan, the ministry note further said.

According to scientists engaged with the bio-fuel production machines, these small-scale oil extraction machines would be ideal for rural areas for oil extraction in villages. The by-products can be used to make cake for manure, biogas, and also edible oil cake as animal feed.

“These machines have been developed and tested for edible and non-edible oilseeds. The oil extractor is removable and can be easily cleaned before using it for different oil seeds. Different sets of extractors may be used for edible and non-edible oils. The machine has been tested for edible oil seeds such as sunflower, coconut, groundnut, mustered, sesame, etc., and non-edible oil seeds such as pongamia, neem, and mahua,” the scientists said.

The manual de-husking of Pongamia (Karanj or Honge), a potential biofuel crop, is a laborious process. Farmers do not show much interest in its collection. The motorized de-husking machine is expected to bring back their much desired enthusiasm in the collection and processing of oil bearing seeds particularly pongamia to give boost to the bio-fuel production and double farmers’ income, a government official said.