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‘Cactus Plantation and its Economic Usage,’ Discusses Giriraj Singh

Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Giriraj Singh addressed a forum discussing the ‘Cactus Plantation and its Economic Usage’ on Thursday in New Delhi.

Stuti Das
Giriraj Singh addressed a forum discussing the ‘Cactus Plantation and its Economic Usage’ on Thursday
Giriraj Singh addressed a forum discussing the ‘Cactus Plantation and its Economic Usage’ on Thursday

Giriraj Singh held a council meeting online with the representatives of various countries like Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, South Africa, who are engaged in Cactus plantation, to discuss the theme of  ‘Cactus Plantation and its Economic Usage’. 

Apart from fourteen experts from the aforementioned countries, the virtual council was attended by respected dignitaries like Ambassador of Chile, Mr. Juan Angulo M; Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Morocco, Mr. Errachid Alaoui Mrani; Head of Energy Division, Embassy of Brazil, Mrs. Carolina Saito; Agricultural Attache, Embassy of Brazil, Mr. Angelo Mauricio, along with Indian Ambassadors of these countries.

Amongst the attendees secretaries of Department of Land Resources, Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Rural Development, and representatives of Food and Agriculture Organization, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Indian Council of Agricultural Research & International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas were also a part of the forum through virtual means. 

Commercializing cactus plantation is implemented by many nations to regulate the usage of fuel and replace it with biofuel. The discussion was held around the benefits of usage of Cacti plant for biofuel, food, fodder and biofertilizer and devising ways for production for the larger good of the country and the world. Giriraj Singh stated that “Biofuel production will reduce the fuel import burden of the country, contribute towards employment and income for the farmers of watershed areas”.

India is accumulated to have 30% of land under the category of degraded land. The Department of Land Resources has been sanctioned to implement procedures to replenish the degraded lands through its Watershed Development Component scheme of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research and International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Land Areas have been sanctioned to carry on a pilot project in Amlaha Farm of ICARDA in Madhya Pradesh and Ministry of Petroleum has been appraised to provide with all the necessary technical assistance needed for the successful completion of the project. 

Cactuses have high capacity to survive in extreme environments. With the scare for climate change, the access to a plant like such could prove to be beneficial for the country. The plantation would aim to achieve the Nationally Determined Contributions and Sustainable Development Goals as well. If found beneficial, as seen in the participant countries, the local farmers will soon adapt the plantation which would help in removing carbon from the atmosphere as well as its high sugar concentration will help the biofuel industry immensely.

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