Oil Castor ‘biodiesel production on course’

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Oil Castor Zimbabwe believe they are on course to achieving their ultimate dream of setting up a licensed bio-diesel production after Government recently granted the bio-technology concern a certifying agency status.

The status, is further proof of Oil Castor Zimbabwe’s high quality seeds and will spur its growth in delivering organic farming in Africa, Oil Castor founder Alvaro Arellano said.

“To qualify as certified seed, Oil Castor must adhere to strict regulations. Our laboratories raising certified seed must keep detailed records of all treatments applied to each field, and their fields must pass unannounced, random inspections,” Arellano told Zim Morning Post.

“Thousands of seeds from each crop are also laboratory tested for purity to ensure each certified seed fits the Identity Preserved program quality and cleanliness standards,” he continued.

“This certification will bring global buying confidence because buyers now know that they will be getting the highest quality castor bean and oil. This will benefit the farmers, the market and hopefully its a spark that starts an organic revolution in Africa,” he added.

The development comes as Oil Castor is processing its farmers bio-diesel harvests, while it navigates the hurdles of acquiring a biofuel permit to allow it to go full throttle.

It currently has 650 active farmers in Rwanda, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Djibouti, Lesotho, Botswana, Morocco, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Dubai, Seychelles, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Kuwait, Namibia, Congo and Zambia.

In December 2019, the Oil Castor chemistry department developed a formula to produce B100 biodiesel from the castor bean seed to kick start the process.

The Castor bean at Oil Castor is a hybrid seed with an oil content of between 65% – 80%, Oil Castor Chemistry department noted adding that this implies that from 1 000 kilograms of castor bean, one can produce 800 litres of castor oil.

“From that 800 litres of castor oil, the formula we came up with produces approximately 680 litres of biodiesel,” the department noted at the time of launch in 2019.

On Sunday, Arellano said, “after years of research, Oil Castor has successfully developed biodiesel and biomotor through engineered castor beans.”

For now, however, Oil Castor is taking it one step at a time and is happy to have been approved as a certifying agency for castor bean, through a notice published in the Government Gazette on December 28 2020.

Arellano said the certification will help the company bring a universal standard to farming castor beans.

“The latest development will bring consumer confidence to the farming project while also helping us bring standards across Africa,” he said.

“And with the free trade across Africa, it will help us bring a universal standard to farming castor beans.”

The licenced seed supplier, supplies organic seed, pesticide and fertilizer across Africa.

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