One-day national seminar on Maize and Ethanol

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The growth of the ethanol sector has been tremendous which has set a sort of example for the world, said Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Textiles and Commerce and Industry while addressing a one-day seminar on ‘National Seminar on Maize to Ethanol’ organized by Department of Food and Public Distribution today.
The growth of the ethanol sector has been tremendous which has set a sort of example for the world, said Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Textiles and Commerce and Industry while addressing a one-day seminar on ‘National Seminar on Maize to Ethanol’ organized by Department of Food and Public Distribution today.
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Growth of the Ethanol sector is an example for the world: Shri Goyal

Environment-friendly fuel like ethanol is a top priority Hon’ble Prime Minister: Shri Goyal

One-day national seminar on Maize and Ethanol

Grain-based distilleries will collaborate with farmers for assured production and procurement of maize in their areas

By PIB Delhi

The growth of the ethanol sector has been tremendous which has set a sort of example for the world, said Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Textiles and Commerce and Industry while addressing a one-day seminar on ‘National Seminar on Maize to Ethanol’ organized by Department of Food and Public Distribution here today.

Shri Goyal said that in the last 9 years, the sugar sector has been self-sufficient with more than 99.9% payment to farmers for the previous season. Now, ethanol will support maize farmers in increasing their income and bringing growth with stability along the lines of sugarcane farmers. Investments of thousands of crores have come creating thousands of jobs in the rural sector which has generated a multiplier effect on the Indian economy. He highlighted that environment-friendly fuel like ethanol has been on the top priority list of the Hon’ble Prime Minister which has resulted in more than doubling of ethanol blending in just 2 years and the target of 20% ethanol blending has also been preponed from 2030 to 2025.

Timely planning, industry-friendly policies, and a transparent approach of the Government of India with the collaboration of industry have made these achievements a reality, he said. He stressed on the need for synchronous efforts of the Central Government, States, Research Institutes, OMCs, and Distilleries to achieve the target of 20% ethanol blending while keeping the interests of the farmers always on top priority.

The Union Minister highlighted that India has transformed to accomplishing bigger goals in a shorter time to be the world leader. The Target of E 20 was preponed from 2030 to 2025 so that India can have clean fuel with propagating farmers’ interests.

The Secretary, of Agriculture, Shri Manoj Ahuja also expressed the need to have a more targeted and region-specific approach to promoting the cultivation of maize in the country. Secretary, Petroleum supported the idea and highlighted the work of OMCs in collaborating with the industry which resulted in achieving the 10% blending target last year and moving in the right direction to achieve the 20% blending target in time. Secretary, F &PD spelled out the need for assured procurement of maize at MSP and evolving enabling ecosystem for the whole sector as a basic necessity to achieve the target for grain-based distilleries.

In India, distilleries generally produce ethanol from molasses which is the by-product of sugar. However, only the sugarcane route is not sufficient to achieve the 20% blending target, therefore, ethanol from food grains such as maize, damaged food grains (DFG), and rice available with FCI has also been allowed. To achieve the target of 20% ethanol blending with petrol by 2025, about 1016 crore liters of ethanol would be required and about 334 crore liters of ethanol would be required for other uses. For this, about 1700 crore liters of ethanol-producing capacity would be required considering the plant operates at 80% efficiency.

It is estimated that to achieve the target of 20% blending, the requirement of food grains for ethanol production would be around 165 LMT. Globally, maize is a primary feedstock for the production of ethanol as it consumes less water and is economical, however, in India, the use of maize as a feedstock for ethanol production is yet to gain momentum. Currently, grain-based distilleries are producing ethanol from food grains by using either Damaged Food Grains (DFG) like broken rice or using FCI rice, there is hardly any production of ethanol from maize by grain-based distilleries in India. The use of multiple feed-stocks for ethanol production will ensure feedstock security thereby not putting any stress on the availability of any single feedstock. Moreover, maize-based ethanol is more economical and water efficient.

The production of maize in the country is consistent. However, due to the low demand for maize, farmers are not getting appropriate prices for their produce. Production of ethanol from maize will increase the demand for maize and therefore will fetch a better price to farmers. At present, due to export demand, maize prices are high but generally, the market price of maize remains below MSP leading to a low cultivation area for the crop. The use of maize for ethanol production would assure better prices and consistent demand for maize leading to more cultivation of the crop which is a lesser water-consuming crop as compared to paddy. Further, distilleries too shall be assured about the availability of feedstock in the market which will not only create a win-win situation for both distillers and farmers but also would be of great help in conservation of water and the environment.

During all the deliberations, all the stakeholders agreed to have a collaborative approach toward promoting maize production, yield, and area. Along the lines of the sugarcane sector, distilleries need to support maize farmers and assure procurement of their harvest at the MSP rate of maize. Petroleum Ministry has also shown a willingness to incentivize the ethanol from maize with a medium-term stable pricing policy on the matter. Indian Institute of Maize Research will work on better varieties while Distilleries need to collaborate with Cattle & Animal Feed Manufacturers’ Association (CLFMA) on quality standards of DDGS so that distilleries can tap huge opportunities in the sector. With an integrated strategy of ethanol, DDGS and other by-products from maize, higher profitability could be ensured for farmers, distilleries, and the overall industry which would also cater to meet almost 50% need for ethanol for fuel through grain-based distilleries.

The seminar thus focused on bringing experts of various varied technological fields under one platform with the aim of looking at ways to usage of technology as a force multiplier to understand the concerns and challenges in promoting maize cultivation as well as to identify a suggestive course of action to progress in achieving the higher maize production in the country which would certainly benefit not only farmers and distilleries but also would be of great help in conservation of water and environment.

Aligning the objective of Atamnirbhar Bharat in meeting the fuel energy needs of the country under Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) Programme, with the Central Government’s aim to further the interest of maize farmers of the country, the seminar was organized. The objective of the seminar was to bring all stakeholders of the Maize and Ethanol industry to one platform and discuss the strategy and priorities for promoting maize as primary grain-based feedstock for ethanol production to achieve a 20% blending target by 2025. The Seminar was conducted in four sessions each focusing on a key aspect of the overall scenario.

Secretary DFPD, Shri Sanjeev Chopra along with the Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, and Secretary, Shri Pankaj Jain also participated in the Seminar along with eminent experts from various Government Departments, Institutes, Oil Marketing Companies, and Industries. Distinguished experts from the ethanol industry, sugar sector, Animal Feed Marketing Association, and seed/equipment suppliers attended the Seminar.

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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