joint venture between CANADA and Mozambique will see an investment of 150 million in the production biodiesel over the next six years. It’s aimed at intensive jatropha production for biodiesel extraction in an area of over 70 000ha in the districts of Barue and Gondola in Manica province and Buzi in Sofala province. he country also approved a US0 million deal with the London-listed Central African Mining & Exploration Company Plc to build an ethanol plant with the capacity to produce 120 million litres of ethanol from sugarcane.
Annan warns against food/fuel competition
Former Un secretary general Kofi Annan recently warned African nations to be wary of growing biofuel on prime farm land, as this would cause food shortages, triggering uprisings. e recalled that when he spoke to former Cuban president Fidel Castro about the risks of biofuel as far back as 2006, Castro looked him straight in the eye and said, “What will the people eat if we give the food to the cars?”
Malawi goes green on energy
Malawi is facilitating the implementation of a number of private sector projects to set up biodiesel plants in an attempt to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. Progress with projects so far seems to suggest that the country will start producing biodiesel from jatropha by 2009. The residue will be processed into biomass to power electricity. – Glenneis Erasmus
UK consumers develop a taste for easy-peelers
Consumption of oranges in the UK has fallen 2% over the past 12 months for the third year in a row, while the consumption of easy-peeler fruit such as satsumas and tangerines rose 35% and 60% respectively over the same period. This is according to figures from TNS Research Surveys, a global market research company. Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA), responded that the 2% decline was not significant. “What is significant is the growth of easy-peelers. The market increase here has offset the reduced consumption of oranges, which means that citrus consumption on the whole is increasing.”
According to CGA data, the decline has not affected SA orange producers. “Exports to the actually increased by 25% from 2006 to 2007,” Chadwick said. “In 2007, we exported over 5,1 million cartons to the UK, up from almost 4,1 million cartons in 2006. But further investigation is needed to determine whether the 2% decline came about in the winter or summer months to see which producer countries it impacted on the most.”
Chadwick went on to say that the UK market is important to orange producers and he would like to see further growth there. “Some 70% of SA’s citrus exports are oranges and they are our major line going in to the UK. Over 50% of our soft citrus or easy-peelers also go into the market. In 2006, a low-crop year, over 2,5 million cartons of soft citrus were exported to the and this increased to over 3,1 million cartons in 2007.”
However, Chadwick said citrus producers were not completely reliant on the “There’s been a lot of growth in newer markets like Russia, Eastern Europe, the Far East and the Middle East. We’ve had huge interest from Russia in particular.” F igures as at 13 June show that while the UK was dominating exports of soft citrus at 58%, up from 55% in 2007, had also shown growth to 13% from 7% in 2007. Naval orange exports to the East were at 34% and 4% in the Far East, having decreased from 2007 levels of 42% and 9% respectively.
However, northern Europe at 29% (17% in 2007), the UK at 10% (7% in 2007), Russia at 9% (6% in 2007) and the Mediterranean at 6% (3% in 2007) have all increased their market share. Chadwick said that he was not concerned about the future of oranges. “There will always be a place for oranges in the fruit basket. Consumers have been eating them for years. They may not be as convenient as some other fruit, but generally they’re more reasonably priced and easier to transport, grow, pick and pack.” – Robyn Joubert