Indian farmers will also be “Urjadata”, not just “Annadata”; says Nitin Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on July 4 the government believes farmers should be recognized not only as annadata, or food producers, but also as urjadata, or energy producers.

“All vehicles now run on farmer-produced ethanol,” Gadkari said at a rally in Pratapgarh, Rajasthan.

He claimed that if an average of 60 percent ethanol and 40 percent electricity were used, fuel would be readily available at 15 rupees a liter, which would bring great benefits to the general public.

“Pollution and imports will decrease,” he added. He also said the current import is worth Rs 16 million. Instead, that money will go to farmers’ homes as they grow energy-producing crops that could be used to make ethanol.

In line with the revised National Policy on Biofuels (2018) and the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme, India aims to achieve 20 percent ethanol blending in petrol (E20) by 2025-26. According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, India reached an average 10 percent ethanol blending rate in gasoline in June 2022.

Gadkari, the Union Minister for Roads and Motorways, has stressed the need to switch from hydrocarbon fuels to fuels containing ethanol, while outlining the government’s efforts to integrate ethanol into agricultural and construction machinery.

Gadkari has said on numerous occasions in the past that this transition would reduce India’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, increase farmers’ incomes and boost economic growth.

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