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SOUTHERN AFRICA HAS not been spared from the effects of global warming responsible for droughts that have caused food shortages. The effects of climate change come on top of high oil prices on the world market and widespread poverty in the region.
It is therefore time for developing countries to implement integrated programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of climate change, reducing the dependency on imported fuels and improving the living standards of the people.
One such approach is underway in Central Zambia, where Marli Investments Ltd. a private company, has engaged farmers to grow jatropha, a seed crop that can be used to produce biodiesel and many other products. The company has so far engaged 5,000 farmers in outgrower schemes in Kabwe, Kapiri Mponshi and Chibombo districts. The number of farmers in these outgrower schemes could increase as many are interested in the project, and some tobacco farmers are already switching to the seed crop.
The Zambian company is planning to construct a US$30mn biodiesel processing plant in Kabwe, about …