the national mission on Jatropha biodiesel

Posted: July 1, 2010 in Uncategorized
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In April 2003, the committee on development of BIO-FUEL, under the auspices of the Planning Commission of India, presented its report that recommends a major multi-dimensional programme to replace 20% of Indias diesel consumption. The National Planning Commission has integrated the Ministries of Petroleum, Rural Development, Poverty Alleviation and the Environmental Ministry and others. One objective is to blend petro-diesel with a planned 13 Million t of bio-diesel by 2013 (>>l000 times compared to the present world Jatropha cultivation and production), produced mainly from non-edible Jatropha oil, a smaller part from Pongomia.

For this end, eleven millions ha of presently unused lands are to be cultivated with Jatropha (for comparison: annual loss of Brazilian rain forest 2.4 Mio ha). A similar program was started with Ethanol production from sugarcane molasses, which is to replace 5% of transport petrol in the first phase. Announcements and discussion of this program have already now brought numerous institutions, private investors and some farmers to prepare and even start with work on a major Jatropha program. The move towards large-scale utilization of Jatropha is thus mainly coming from the energy discussion, with its increasing environmental and health burden and foreign exchange cost; but as well from the Forestry and Rural Development Sector, looking for future income potentials. In March 2004 a first portion for a National Program on Jatropha was released with RS. 800 Crore (161) Mio. S/Euro) to support cultivation of Jatropha on new fields and plantations of 200.000 ha. This is the first portion of a total program approved with a volume of RS. 1.500 Core (300 Mio S/Euro) and 400.000 ha, to be realized within five years. The program intends to replace 5% of diesel consumption by 2006 with 2.6 Mio t of Jatropha bio-diesel produced on 2.2 Mio ha, based on yields expected by the Government.

To plant 11 Mio ha Jatropha, the program is to become a “National Mission” and mass movement and wants to mobilize a large number of stakeholders including individuals, communities, entrepreneurs, oil companies, business, industry, the financial sector as well as Government and most of its institutions.

In the first phase, within a demonstration project, the “viability of all components” is to be tested, developed and demonstrated by Government with all its linkages in different parts of the country, sufficient production of seeds and a wide information and education of potential participants and stake holders to allow for a self-sustained dissemination. The demonstration project consists of 2 phases, each with 200.000 ha planted in 8 states of 2 x 25.000 ha “compact area” each.

Each state will have one estenfication plant, which is meant to be economical from 80.000 t of bio-diesel onward, expected to come from 50 to 70000 ha each. Compact areas in each state will he further subdivided into 2000 ha blocks of plantation to facilitate supply of planting material, procurement of seed and primary processing through expellers.

Expected outputs from 400,000 ha are meant to be 0.5 Million t of bio-diesel, compost from the press cake, and massive generation of employment (16 Mio days/year) for the poor. The program is meant to assist to achieve emission standards and climatic targets approved by Government, to improve degraded land resources, and income to 1.9 Mio poor families at 4 families per ha, on a base of 5 Rupees/kg of seed sold.

For 2007, when the process is meant to move self-sustained, a scheme of margin money, subsidy and loan is planned to be instituted. Expansion of processing capacities is meant to run on a 30% subsidy, 60% loan, and 10% private capital basis. Additional support for mainly market based “Phase II” from 2007 onwards, is sought from International Funding Agencies, since the program addresses global environmental concern and contributes to poverty alleviation. Spat~te legislation on bio-fuels is recommended.

The practices being undertaken by the Jatropha growers currently need to be scientifically managed for better growth and production. The growth and yield of Jatropha could be improved through effective management practices.

The keyfactors that can influence the oil yield of Jatropha Curcas are:

  1. Climate
  2. Quality of the soil
  3. Irrigation
  4. Weeding
  5. Use of fertilizer
  6. Crop density
  7. Genotype
  8. Use of pesticide
  9. Inter-cropping

Social & economic advantages of multiple cropping systems:

  1. Dependence on only crop is avoided.
  2. Less needs to import energy.
  3. Reduction in the outlay for fertilizers.
  4. There is much greater flexibility of the distribution of labor.
  5. Possible to recover investments in much less time.
  6. Availability of harvest over a much longer period of time.
  7. Can occupy much more labor.
  8. The farmer of little economic resources can produce a large variety of useful products.
  9. Promote a return to the land.
  10. Components can constitute a type of “savings” for the future.

SRIPHL has tried, applied and developed Some inter croping systems for both wastelands and cultivable lands as outlined below:


  1. Model (i) Hedgerows of Jatropha with Glyricidia and Subabul
  2. Model (ii) Jatropha intercropped with grasses, tubers and vegetables
  3. Model (iii) Jatropha mixed with fruit trees
  4. Model (iv) Jatropha in mixed plantation with Teak / Neem / Karanj / Subabul
  6. On irrigated farmlands

For Biofencing

  1. Keith says:


    Great to hear about how jatropha helps poor farmers! I wondered if you could comment on this article about Jatropha Plantations for Bio Fuel?

    Here is my basic method for refining Crude Jatropha Oil (CJO) Any Comments on this method greatly appreciated!

    Warm Regards


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