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Submitted by Dr.A.Jagadeesh on
The best way to provide employment and livelihood is to engage the people in farming in waste lands. There are plants which thrive under harsh conditions and which can be put to multiple uses. The waste land in Solomon Islands as well as in most of the Africa,Asia and Latin America can be utilised to generate employment.. Much of this land can be utilized to grow care-free growth plants like Agave and Opuntia. Mexico is pioneer in the production of Biofuel from Agave. Also Opuntia is the potential input for biogas and subsequent power generation. What is more Agave is a regenerative plant. Agave is also a CAM Plant. Crassulacean acid metabolism, also known as CAM photosynthesis, is a fixation pathway that evolved in some plants as an adaptation to arid conditions. In a plant using full CAM, the stomata in the leaves remain shut during the day to reduce evapotranspiration, but open at night to collect carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 is stored as the four-carbon acidmalate, and then used during photosynthesis during the day. The pre-collected CO2 is concentrated around the enzyme RuBisCO, increasing photosynthetic efficiency. There are other uses of Agave: Hecogenin, a steroid is obtained from agave; since it has cellulose it can be used in paper making(already a paper mill is there in Brazil which uses agave as input); the fibre is used in cloth making and shirts are made under the name DIP DRY in Philippines. The Specialty of this cloth is water won’t stick to it. Also in Kenya and Lesotho the agave plant is cut into pieces, dried and mixed in concrete since agave has strong fibres which have binding force. Yet another option for biogas production and power generation is Water Hyacinth which has pervaded in many countries. In Andhra Pradesh,India in the Krishna and Godavari Delta in Kolleru Lake, water hyacinth is spread in about 300 Sq. Km area and is available for about 9 months in a year. Water hyacinth along with animal dung can be utilized to produce biogas on a large scale for power generation. It is unfortunate that power generation through biogas route has not taken off in sunbelt countries like India while countries with temperature not exceeding 25 degrees Celsius(Denmark,Germany,Netherlands) have biogas power generation plants. I have a novel scheme for consideration by Government of India and State Governments. Agro Economic Zones on the lines of SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES(SEZ) can be set up in rural areas waste lands. Unemployed youth can be given training in agricultural methods and Farm Co-operatives can be setup. Fast growing and care-free growth plants with multiple uses like Agave,Opuntia,Jatropha can be grown in large areas. Units for biofuels production and biogas production and subsequent power generation can be set up locally to generate power locally. This way there will be less unemployment among youth and waste land can be brought under use besides producing power on a massive scale. Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India E-mail: