By Tatenda Mujeyi
Cabinet has considered and approved the National Biofuels policy in an effort to complement efforts to alleviate poverty and foster renewable energy production.
“Cabinet considered and approved the National Biofuels Policy which was presented by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Industrialisation and Export Development,” the Chairperson of the Post Cabinet Briefing Hon Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said.
The proposed National Biofuels Policy will guide the biofuels sector during the period 2018 to 2030 in promoting the implementation of viable biofuels projects in the country.
The policy will complement efforts by government to enhance renewable energy production, which is in line with the Paris agreement.
“Its specific focus will be on ethanol production from sugar cane and biodiesel from jatropha, while exploring the possibility if other feed-stocks, such as cassava and sweet sorghum for biodiesel production,” Hon Mutsvangwa said.
The project seeks to foster the improvement of the sustainable energy sector, promote quality and standards in the energy sector.
“More specifically, the Policy seeks, inter alia, to improve the long-term growth viability and sustainability of the biofuels sector; safeguard biofuel product quality and standards; improve productivity and economic viability of biofuel feedstock production,” Hon Mustvangwa said
“The program is part of broad development programmes that balance biofuel investments with biodiversity ecosystem maintenance; and implementing production models that increase community benefits from biofuel investments and fostering institutional cooperation.”
Benefits to be derived from the implementation of the National Biofuels Policy include the reduction of the country’s dependence on imported petroleum products; stabilisation of fuel prices; enhancement of energy security; promotion of rural development and investment; poverty reduction; and employment creation.
The Policy, if implemented, will greatly assist the country to save foreign currency through import substitution, improve on energy challenges as well as contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.