Benefits of processing cassava (U-mangra) into biofuel discussed
Imphal: Chief Minister N. Biren Singh chaired the first General Body meeting of Manipur State Biofuel Board at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat on Tuesday.
The meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Suhel Akhtar, PCCF and HoFF Kereilhouvi Angami, Commissioner (Revenue) Gyan Prakash, Director IBSD Prof Pulok Kumar Mukherjee, Director (Agriculture) Laltanpuii Vanchhong, professors from Central Agricultural University, Iroisemba and Manipur University and entrepreneurs.
The meeting thoroughly discussed about the potential benefits of processing of cassava (locally known as U-mangra) into biofuel i.e. ethanol production. Chief Minister instructed to organise mass awareness campaign in various rural and hill areas and educational institutions about the potential and benefits of ethanol production from cassava. He informed the officials to identify the habitation areas and to prepare a detailed project report in this regard. He also suggested forming a Technical Committee consisting of experts, scientists, professors etc. He also opined that cassava cultivation can also provide an alternative livelihood to poppy farmers/growers.
During the meeting, different subject experts maintained that cassava plants are ready for harvest in 6 to 7 months after planting. It would also address issues such as climate change, environmental degradation, poverty alleviation, rural development etc. The meeting also discussed about the prospects of biofuel production from phumdis of Loktak Lake.
It may be mentioned that cassava is a mostly vegetatively propagated perennial root crop that grows well in tropical climates and is abundantly grown in various parts of the State.