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PIA Press Release

Expansion areas for jatropha production pushed

General Santos City (22 June) -- The Eco-Global Bio-Oils Inc., is eyeing Malungon town, Sarangani as suitable propagation area for jatropha.

Marc Gulle, manager of Eco-Global Bio-Oils, Inc. based here, said the company will push for the expansion of additional production areas for jatropha in Sarangani.

The expansion also includes General Santos City.

Eco-Global hopes to finally develop the 74,000 hectares newly-titled ancestral lands of the Blaan and Tagakaolo in Malungon as major cultivation area for jatropha.

The newly awarded ancestral lands will benefit some 52,000 indigenous people (IP) belonging to Blaan and Tagakaolo tribes.

President Arroyo, during her June 11 visit in Kalsangi, Polomolok, South Cotabato, said she wanted the ancestral lands of the IPs to be a part of Mindanao's "positive developments."

Malungon's farmlands had been considered as among the most viable areas in Southwestern Mindanao (Region 12) for jatropha propagation.

Gulle was proud to note that the company now has a plantation size of 11,349 hectares of jatropha and is bent to surpass its target in subsequent years.

He said the company's long range plan is to build a bio-diesel plant and intensifying jatropha plantations will complement the plan.

Of the total target investment of US$175-million for oil mill, the company has initially spent US$4.0-million for its 6.8 hectares Jatropha Oil Extraction Plant Site at Brgy. Bawing, General Santos City.

Other Eco-Global's expansion sites in Sarangani also include the towns of Alabel with 665 hectares out of the total 10,000 hectares; Brgy. Lumasal, Amsipit, Maasim with 5,000 hectares and in Brgy. Kapate, Kiamba with 577 hectares out of the total 16,000 hectares.

In General Santos City, development sites are 460 hectares of the 2,500 (Calatao Clan, CALT 017); 342 of the 600 hectares (Bantilan Clan, CALT 0309000213); 250 of the 300 hectares (DENR, Stewardship, Brgy. Mabuhay); and 59 of the100 hectares (Banisil Clan, Free patent).

The government is determined to push the nationwide planting of Jatropha, which is locally known as tuba-tuba being a good source of alternative energy that is cheap, safe and clean. (PIA SarGen) [top]

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