LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has stressed the need to spend sufficient funds and amount of energy and resources sector for the promotion of biotechnology that is the best substitute of conventional energy resources.
In a statement issued here Friday, LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that there is no doubt about the enormous potential of biotechnology in Pakistan. It is rightly said that 21st Century belongs to biotechnology.
He said that there are a number of fields derived from biotechnology like agriculture biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, health biotechnology, industrial biotechnology and nano biotechnology.
The LCCI President said that renewable and sustainable energy resources are the best substitute to the conventional fuels and energy sources as the business community understands that bio-fuels will reduce our dependence on petroleum to some degree and enhance energy security. Likewise it will also contribute in rural economic development.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that the countries like USA, Brazil and China are leading consumers of ethanol. Many countries world over have gradually introduced Flexible-Fuel Vehicles (FFV) which engines are designed to run on more than one fuel. In Brazil, for instance, 70 percent of all new cars sold now are FFV.
He said that their sources of deriving ethanol are corn, sugarcane, soybeans, palm oil etc. Europe has also progressed remarkably in this connection by utilizing grain starch, sugar beets and rapeseeds etc. Further research and development has made it possible to use different kinds of wastes and herbs for bio fuel production.
He said that it is really unfortunate that no significant work has been done in Pakistan in this field. There is abundant availability of cultivable area in the shape of barren and waste land in our country. He said that government should utilize this land for cultivation of jatropha plant at a wider scale. We can extract non edible oil from this herb to produce bio-diesel. This can be used in vehicles by way of mixing upto 10% with diesel.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that it will certainly help to a great deal in bringing down the import of oil but also serve as an environment friendly source of energy.
The LCCI President stressed the need for highlighting the importance of bio-fuel at national level and also projected this area as a profitable sector for national and foreign investors.
He said that it is high time that public and private sector must come up and join hands in order to utilize the untapped potential of bio-fuel and especially government of Punjab should take initiative to utilize barren and waste land for bio-fuel production.
He urged the government to provide biogas plants to the rural community at subsidized rates to promote alternate energy resources. He said that since more than 60 per cent of country’s exports belong to agriculture therefore biotechnology is of prime importance.
He said that the recent electricity shortage has badly affected the Agriculture and the industrial sectors and it is very unfortunate that the country is getting no benefit of its bio-fuel potential while by reportedly next year neighboring India would be fulfilling 20 per cent of its total energy needs through bio-fuels.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz urged the government to take measures on war footing to promote bio-fuels that would not only help government to overcome the energy crisis but would also reduce the oil import bill.