Handbook on jatropha curcas

Mar 2006

Jatropha Curcas has the advantage that not only is it capable of growing on marginal land, but it can also help to reclaim problematic lands and restore eroded areas. As it is not a food or forage crop, it plays an important role in deterring cattle, and thereby protects other valuable food or cash crops. Jatropha seeds can be pressed into bio-oil that can be used to run diesel engines, which in turn can drive pumps, food processing machinery, or electricity generators. The bio-oil can also be the basis for soap making. The pressed residue of the seeds is a good fertilizer and can also be used for biogas production.
This manual starts with a general overview of Jatropha agronomy and planting practices. Next, for this manual existing planting data are compiled from different countries over the world. The user of this manual can best use the information of countries with growing conditions similar to his own country, looking at annual rainfall, growing season, elevation above sea level, etc.
It is important to document the Jatropha seed source where possible. The seed source of Jatropha has a substantial influence on the production of seed and oil.
Compare the original site conditions (climate and soil type) to conditions at the targeted site, to make a judgment on the viability of the source. One cannot fully predict the adaptability of the Jatropha variety to new conditions. However, selecting seeds from a source with similar growth conditions will give an high chances of success.
A jatropha planting manual, harvesting, oil pressing and purification, use of jatropha products and implementation are covered in this handbook.

By: Fact Foundation

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