A newly developed technology for easy de-husking and oil extraction from oilseeds has increased local community participation in Hassan district of Karnataka bringing in not just monetary benefits, but also helping improve de-centralised non-fossil fuel production.
"The participation of the farming community in feedstock production has played an important role in developing strategies for biofuel production. It will thus help fulfil the target of 175 GW of non-fossil fuel of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Under the project 'Development and evaluation of pongamia pod decorticator and mini-vegetable seed oil extraction machine', the Pongamia decorticator, which runs on 1 HP single-phase electric motor, was designed, and developed using mild steel with a capacity of 80-100 kg/hr with grant-in-aid from 'Scheme for Young Scientists and Technologists' programme, 'Science for Equity, Empowerment and Development' Division of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru.
The manual de-husking of 'Pongamia' ('Karanj' or 'Honge'), a potential biofuel crop, is a laborious process, because of which the farmers do not show much interest for its collection.
The newly developed oil extraction machines and pongamia pod decorticators will help improve biofuel production and by-product utilisation at the village level to augment the income of farmers in Hassan district of Karnataka, the release added.
A total of 10 mini-vegetable oil extraction machines and eight pongamia pod decorticators have been distributed recently to farmers' self-help groups at Hassan district in Karnataka, which are linked to farmers' producer organisations.
These small-scale oil extraction machines would be ideal for rural areas for oil extraction in villages and use of by-products like the cake for manure, biogas and also edible oil cake as animal feed.
(With inputs from IANS)