Levi Novey The Dutch organization SNV has agreed to plant approximately 10,000 acres of land near the coastal Peruvian city of Piura for a biodiesel operation that will provide new jobs for Peruvians and help reduce poverty through sustainable development.
According to one of Peru’s major news sources, El Comercio, “The coordinator of SNV, Jhony Heredia Paivo, indicates that 5000 hectares have been identified in the coast and highlands of Piura where piñón blanco can grow, an almost wild plant that actually can be contained on small farms, that produces olive seeds that can serve as raw materials for biodiesel plants.”
SNV is also known as the Netherlands Development Organization, a group that works around the world to help create jobs via sustainable development. It says that a biodiesel plant in Lima is currently importing piñón blanco, and that their demand is ensured given Peru’s laws that state that all diesel produced in the country must be mixed with some biodiesel. SNV is following in the footsteps of Pure Biofuels, an American company that recently opened a plant in Lima to produce biodiesel from jatropha plants.
As I previously wrote, this trend might signify a potential boom in biofuel and alternative fuel production in Peru, as not only a profit-making venture but also a method to produce jobs. Pure Biofuels said that their jatropha growing operation employed 500 people last year. A member of Piura’s regional government says that SGV plans to plant 2000 acres starting this year on land in impoverished communities. SGV estimates that the project will improve the incomes of approximately 3,000 small farmers by 50% and also create approximately 1,000 new jobs via new biodiesel plants and plantations.
The city of Piura is best known for its beaches and as a legendary center of witchcraft. Perhaps soon it will also be known as a center of biofuel production.
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