An investor with a sharp business sense (he would like to remain anonymous this time) thinks that Napier Pakchong 1 could have a much bigger commercial market than as cattle feed.
Pakchong 1 is the fast-growing hybrid napier which was developed by Dr. Krailas Kyiothong, an animal nutritionist and plant breeder from Pakchong, Thailand. It has been claimed that one hectare could produce 500 tons of biomass per year.
What is our anonymous businessman thinking about? His idea is to plant Pakchong 1 in several hundreds (if not thousands) of hectares that are not used for food production (rice, corn and other food crops). The biomass produced could be harvested, dried and baled into compact sizes for use as fuel by companies like cement plants or electric plants that need fuel to generate power.
He has already talked to some cement plant companies and they are all interested. They are already asking for samples. That is why is very much excited. The next step is to look for the growing area where he could provide employment for workers from the countryside.
He would like to combine the biomass production with cattle raising in confinement. The animals could be fed with the harvest and their manure used to fertilize the Pakchong plantation.
There have been suggestions before to plant ipil-ipil and kakawate as possible source of biomass for use as fuel. He believes that these two trees are no match to Pakchong 1 in producing biomass.
By the way, he has already acquired at great expense a small quantity of Pakchong 1 and is growing the cuttings. They are already a few months old and really they are very fast growing. He is waiting for the stems to mature and harden so he could use them for multiplying. He expects to plant the first hectare in less than one year. After that, propagation by cuttings would be very fast.
Maybe, this is one project that the government should help. Maybe the Malampaya fund could be used to finance this since it is related to energy generation.