Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the use of ethanol can reduce India’s fuel imports and cited Brazil’s example in successfully replacing gasoline to a large extent. “India’s biggest import is petrol, diesel and oil. We can reduce this through use of ethanol. Brazil has made good use of ethanol,” Modi said. He was speaking after inaugurating the ‘Sugarcane Value Chain-Vision 2025 Sugar’ International Conference and Exhibition.
“Ethanol production and sale has tripled in the last two years,” Modi said, adding that “ethanol can be a balancing power in the economy.” Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn and other plant materials.
“India has over the years lagged the world in agricultural research and technology. We can bring good results through micro irrigation in sugarcane,” Modi said, adding that farmers in states like Maharashtra have turned to micro irrigation.
The Prime Minister also spoke of genetic intervention to boost sugar content in sugarcane crop. “There is a guarantee of assured market if we encourage pulses cultivation,” Modi said.
He added: “There is a global market for bamboo farming. It needs less water and there is possibility of more production.” He highlighted genetic research that can help bring in bamboo quality that is globally competitive.
At a time when land holding is declining, farmers will benefit when the per hectare yield improves, Modi said. “We have a lot to do in the field of innovation,” he said, pointing to a lot of innovation in the agri sector. Modi also spoke of start-ups in the agri sector which, he said, will bring in value addition.