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PIA Press Release

PNOC-AFC signs jatropha partnership with Tagkawayan farmers

Manila (19 February) -- Continuing its efforts of boosting its nationwide jatropha project, the Philippine National Oil Company - Alternative Fuels Corporation (PNOC-AFC) signed a Production, Technical and Marketing Agreement (PTMA) with the Tagkawayan Jatropha Famers Multi-Purpose Cooperative on 09 February 2009 to cultivate jatropha in the Province of Quezon.

Under the PTMA, PNOC-AFC will purchase seeds from, and extend technical assistance to the Tagkawayan Cooperative.

The signing ceremony held at PNOC-AFC's office in Makati was headed by PNOC-AFC's President and CEO Romeo P. Tolentino and Jose B. Serrano, Jr., the Chairman of the Tagkawayan Jatropha Famers Multi-Purpose Cooperative - a conglomeration of landowners willing to allocate a consolidated 517-hectare land located in Quezon for jatropha.

In line with the government's policy of reducing dependence on imported oil and utilizing indigenous renewable energy sources, the PNOC-AFC has the primary purpose to explore, develop and accelerate the use of alternative energy to enhance the country's energy security. Coupled with this mandate is to find ways to be more environment-friendly with the use of processes that contribute to the lessening of pollution and effects to global warming.

Biofuels are currently significantly less carbon neutral than other forms of renewable energy. A way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is to use biofuels to replace non-reneweable energy sources.

Jatropha Curcas, known more popularly as "tuba-tuba," was identified by the company as the most productive and economical feedstock for biofuel production.

With the PTMA, PNOC-AFC shall conduct validation of the land's size and suitability to propagate jatropha; provide specification of seedlings; purchase the seeds to be delivered by the Tagkawayan Cooperative at Php4.50 per kilo; and provide technical know-how and support relative to the establishment of a nursery.

For its part, the Tagkawayan Cooperative shall submit a list of farmer-participants; identify lands; secure loan from the Landbank of the Philippines; make available the planting materials; and deliver the seeds.

Steadfast on its role of providing cheaper, cleaner and safer fuels; the PNOC-AFC believes in the viability of the jatropha project. The company already has several ventures with farmers' cooperatives, landowners' groups and investors all over the country. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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