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Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 20:52 GMT 21:52 UK
Garden of England could fuel UK
Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin fills his truck with bio-fuel from his Romney Marsh farm
The garden of England could soon be helping to produce the fuel of the future following a pioneering project to produce diesel from oilseed rape.

Kent farmer Andrew Martin is working on a study to see if it would be possible to produce and sell the "green" fuel on his farm at Burmarsh on Romney Marsh.

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) said bio-diesel could be produced locally for about 85p per litre.

"It is feasible without modification to vehicles," said Mr Martin.

There are hundreds of farmers nationwide who are poised to produce green fuel
Andrew Martin

"It would be very easy to do, without a huge amount of infrastructure."

The NFU stepped up its campaign to get the UK's bio-fuels industry on the road by driving a tractor run on bio-diesel along Brighton seafront on Monday in front of the Labour Party Conference.

After Hurricane Katrina shut refineries in the US, diesel prices went up to more than 97p a litre.

The NFU believes price fluctuations would be unnecessary if non-food crops could be turned into environmentally friendly ways of powering vehicles.

Nature's fuel

It wants to government to source 5.75% of road transport fuel from renewable sources by 2010, in line with EU targets.

"There are hundreds of farmers nationwide who are poised to produce green fuel," said Mr Martin.

"In the last century, we provided oats from the main form of transport - the horse - and in the 21st century we can grow nature's fuel for our road vehicles."

Mr Martin's project is being funded with 20,000 from the South East England Development Agency (SSEDA).

"Worldwide there is something of a revolution in agriculture starting and producing fuel not from fossil fuels but from crops could have quite an extraordinary effect on climate change," said leader of Kent County Council, Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart.

Farmers cash in on bio-fuel market
15 Sep 05 |  Northern Ireland
Ministers back biodiesel plant
25 Mar 04 |  Scotland

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