Inadequate or inequitable access to energy affects the livelihoods of millions of small scale farmers, landless and indigenous people.Biofuel development highlights potentials for improved farm productivity and non-rural livelihood opportunities without compromising food security. Investing in Renewable Energy can create employment opportunities for Nigerians and help in the diversification of the economy.
These were the observations of the Director of the Centre for Energy and Environment, University of Benin, Prof. Lawrence I.N. Ezemonye stated this in a 2-Day Train the Trainers Workshop on Biodiesel Production from Jatropha Curcas, organized by the Centre in collaboration with African Foundation for Agricultural Development (AFADEV). In his address, he stressed that the workshop will provide policy makers, experts, professionals, organized farmers associations and the academia opportunities to work for the enthronement of environmental friendly renewable energy sources in Nigeria.
Declaring the workshop open, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Barr. Dauda kigbu, mni, represented by Mr. S.C Irokalibe, a Director in the Ministry said that Jatropha Curcas farming can be used to solve the problem of unemployment in Nigeria because biodiesel from Jatropha seeds as well as other bi products are now in demand in the international market.
Speaking in the same vein, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Osayuki Oshodin said based on the growing concern over the impact of fossil fuel on global warming, the discovery of an environmental friendly alternative like Jatropha seed can be seen as a huge blessing to mankind.
The workshop was held at the Faculty of Engineering Board Room, University of Benin. Participants were drawn from 20 States of the Federation, Ministries of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Energy, Power and Environment, Agricultural Development Projects (ADP’s), Financial Institutions, African Foundation for Agricultural Development (AFADEV), Members of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), Millennium Development Goal Group (MDG), All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Jatropha Growers, Processors and Exporters Association of Nigeria (JAGPEAN), Jatropha Farmers Association, Research Institutes, Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s), Media, Universities, Colleges of Education and the Private Sector.