Castor cultivation emerging in Brazil

Castor cultivation extensively is practiced throughout the world for it industrial oil.Recently, Brazilian firm Eco-carbone has made it’s entry into castor venture and claims that the firm has launched a pilot scale production of castor in 1100 hectares of rainfed and irrigated lands hired on rent basis.The anticipated production of castor seed would be around 2300 tonnes per annum.They say that the objective behind this investment is to accelerate the cultivation of castor in Brazil as demand for castor oil and its derivatives are globally increasing.In addition, castor proves to be a viable alternative to Jatropha for the bio-diesel production in Brazil.

It is important to note that Brazil is an excellent agro-climatic zone for the cultivation of castor but its current day production is way behind India.Therefore initiatives of such types would have a deep impact in understanding the potential of this oilseed crop in right geographical zones for economic and employment prosperity.

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Processed castor bean meal as a probable feed for poultry.

Castor bean meal(CBM) is well known for its toxicity functions due to the presence of ricin protein and other castor plant based metabolites.A classical but a productive research study from the Rutgers University,USA revealed a complete, strange fact about castor bean cake.Researchers Laufey Vilhjalmsdottir and Hans Fischer have chosen CBM and treated it  with warm water to exclude its toxic debris materials.They later fed the processed material to the bred chicks as a test proteinaceous diet to assess an increase in biomass and were able to notice not alone a loss of toxicity from the fed material but also an incrementation in the mass development of experiemental subjects which enabled scientists to understand the scope of CBM as a potent future, feedstock in poultry.The results also revealed that CBM has to be supplemented along with some essential amino acids to achieve a superior activity in chicks which otherwise proved to be inferior performing to soybean diet.

In this analytical study, scientists were able to prove the efficacy of the deoiled cake from castor but the experimental robustness with appropriate controls and parameters are necessary to confirm the compatibility of CBM as a routine feed for the poultry and other livestocks.

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Plant oil stoves as alternate sources of energy

Bio-fuel from renewable resources has extended its roots to kitchens as well.The German Firms, BSH Bosch and Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (BSH) have introduced a new plant oil stove “The Protos”. They claim that their eco-friendly stove operates by sustainably generated bio-fuels from castor and other edible oils. It has a great potential to minimize the demand for wood fuels among the rural people.Further, its ecological significance can be best understood by its ability to reduce seven tonnes of carbondioxide emissions per year. After a successful preliminary testing from 2004 to 2006, the firms have sold about 800 plant oil stoves so far in Philippines and plans have been made to evaluate the performance of “The Protos” in other nations including India, Indonesia, South Africa and Tanzania.

Plant oil stoves are extraordinary alternate energy sources for household purposes but needs a complete profile regarding its biosafety, stability to liberate energy and a well defined production technology and volume to feed the stoves to achieve an uninterrupted supply of energy.

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