The MoRTH minister has made an ambitious statement suggesting farmers should switch to Ethanol production instead of conventional crops, though according a RBI report published in August 2020, maintining food surplus remains a challenge in India given the rising population.
Nitin Gadkari has asked farmers to turn to ethonol production in India, since its more profitable.
We all are aware about Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s vision for Ethanol powered vehicles and flex engines. Gadkari has been stressing over the switch to Ethanol powered engines for a long time as they are more organic and will reduce India’s dependency on fossil fuel import. This time around, the MoRTH minister has made an ambitious statement suggesting farmers should switch to Ethanol production instead of conventional crops. This will help the country to abate its expenditure on fuel imports and the same amount would go to farmers instead.
According to a PTI report, Gadkari said, “Farmers in the country today give us foodgrains. But they should also start give us energy. The country currently spends ₹ 8 lakh crore a year on fuel import, and the amount is likely to go to ₹ 25 lakh crore in the future. If such a big amount goes to farmers, then they will not commit suicide. Cultivating traditional crops will not be profitable, instead farmers should turn to production of ethanol instead.”
That said, according to a RBI report published in August last year, maintaining food surplus is still a challenge in India given the pereptual rise in population of the country and so growing crops remains to be the need of the hour. The challenge remains despite the total production of foodgrains reached a record 296.65 million tonnes in 2019-20, while total horticulture production that accounts for about 40 per cent of gross value added in the farm sector, also reached an all-time high of 320.48 million tonnes.
The Centre has ordered the use of 10 per cent of biomass instead of coal in energy production, this will help farmers if they cultivate bamboo just like they grow sugarcane. The minister recently spoke about his plans to make flex engines that can run on more than one fuel mandatory in India, and earlier in October he asked sugar processing companies to set up ethanol dispensing stations across the country. In fact, MoRTH is already trying to ensure timely availability of the fuel as Gadkari is trying to go ahead with the plan of mandating flex-fuel engines for vehicles in India.