Loading...
 

LiquidSIG


Jatropha - research by FAO/IFAD reveals its perhaps not the biofuel solution we all thought

A press released on SciDEV by Miyuki Iiyama, a fellow at the world Agroforestry Centre and James Onchieku from the Kenya Forestry Research Institute at the end of last month highlights some of the realistic characteristics of the thought to be a saving biofuel plant. Jatropha has received a lot of attention as a biofuel source as it can grow in semi arid conditions and poor soils with a supposed opportunity to bring high profits to poor farmers. As it is poisonous, this means that its use as a biofuel is not taking away valuable food supplies and land that would be used for cultivation of food.

Recent studies by the FAO and IFAD have however shown that Jatrohpa requires high levels of water and fertiliser and that generally yields are marginal despite policy decisions to use it as an oil bearing substitute. Many farmers are paying 12-25$ per kg for seeds and not receiving any training or advice on crop management. 75% of farmers also reported that pests or diseases had affected their jatropha plantation.

The FAO/IFAD report is stated to "Realising the true potential of Jatropha requires separating facts from the claims and half truths…expecting Jatropha to substitute significantly for oil imports in developing countries is unrealistic".

With such a large conversion to this crop, in 2008 900,000 hectares of Jatropha were grown worldwide (760,000 in Asia) which is expected to rise to 12.8 million hectares in 2015, the need for significant research into the feasibility and sustainability of this crop is essential to realising the future potential of biofuel production in developing countries.

So far recommendations are to conduct further research into this plant and to use it to reclaim land that has suffered degraaditon, though as far as large scale plantations are concerned it is thought to be risky to invest in such ventures for obtaining biofuel products.

Comments, thoughts and further insights into Jatropha are welcomed.

To see the full article and download the reports available see here

Best wishes

Miriam
Sweden
Sorry!
The mail address is permanently changed to:
folkeg at gmail.com
Please re-send to the above address and note the changes in your adress book
Sorry for the inconvenience!
YS
FG

United States
Miriam:

Those who treat petroleum with the respect it deserves have long recognized
that biofuels' land/water demands can be too high (and compete with food and
other biomass) and that their commercial potential depends on supply chains
that can reasonable guarantee reliable cost and quality. (Not all is fine
with all petroleum supply chains, but relative to their contribution, the
damages are minor. Yes, even the oil spills and CO2, propaganda
notwithstanding.)

So it is no surprise that the "hype" is now vehemently attacked by "reality
checks".

But recognize the report for what it claims - "Smallholder bioenergy crop"
and "potential for pro-poor development" (not, that is, for the middle-men
making a killing on the silly carbon-constrained markets where I understand
power costs and emission limits had led to a boom in biodiesel for captive
power generation).

And take it at its face value: "This publication seeks to contribute to
strengthening jatropha policies and strategies in developing countries
policies that recognize the potential of jatropha to contribute towards
pro-poor development, sustain rural income and improve livelihoods."

The message is not that cynical or pessimistic: "Jatrophas chief weaknesses
relate to the fact that it is an essentially wild plant that has undergone
little crop improvement...Crop improvement is at an early stage. Increasing
oil yield must be a priority an objective that has only recently been
addressed by private enterprise. .. Holistic schemes that embrace jatropha
production, oil extraction and utilization in remote rural communities
appear the most viable, particularly where its other benefits are
recognized, such as reversing land degradation. Jatropha production systems
can be characterized in terms of their direct or indirect potential
contribution to pro-poor development. It is expected that large plantations
developed by the private sector will predominate in the future and that
smallholders may be contract farmers for such commercial enterprises...
Local utilization of jatropha oil is one of a number of strategies that may
be used to address energy poverty in remote areas and could be part of
production systems or part of a living fence to control livestock
grazing.. For the present, the main pro-poor potential of jatropha is within
a strategy for the reclamation of degraded farmland along with local
processing and utilization of the oil and by-products. In addition, by
providing physical barriers, jatropha can control grazing and demarcate
property boundaries while at the same time improving water retention and
soil conditions. These attributes, added to the benefits of using a
renewable fuel source, can contribute in an even larger way to protecting
the environment..."

These are important and promising findings. The poor have more important
things to do than save the world and finance the saviors.

Nikhil





On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 12:57 PM, Miriam Hansen <LiquidSIG@hedon.info> wrote:

>
> A press released on SciDEV by Miyuki Iiyama, a fellow at the world
> Agroforestry Centre and James Onchieku from the Kenya Forestry Research
> Institute at the end of last month highlights some of the realistic
> characteristics of the thought to be a saving biofuel plant. Jatropha has
> received a lot of attention as a biofuel source as it can grow in semi arid
> conditions and poor soils with a supposed opportunity to bring high profits
> to poor farmers. As it is poisonous, this means that its use as a biofuel is
> not taking away valuable food supplies and land that would be used for
> cultivation of food.
>
> Recent studies by the FAO and IFAD have however shown that Jatrohpa
> requires high levels of water and fertiliser and that generally yields are
> marginal despite policy decisions to use it as an oil bearing substitute.
> Many farmers are paying 12-25$ per kg for seeds and not receiving any
> training or advice on crop management. 75% of farmers also reported that
> pests or diseases had affected their jatropha plantation.
>
> The FAO/IFAD report is stated to "Realising the true potential of Jatropha
> requires separating facts from the claims and half truthsexpecting Jatropha
> to substitute significantly for oil imports in developing countries is
> unrealistic".
>
> With such a large conversion to this crop, in 2008 900,000 hectares of
> Jatropha were grown worldwide (760,000 in Asia) which is expected to rise to
> 12.8 million hectares in 2015, the need for significant research into the
> feasibility and sustainability of this crop is essential to realising the
> future potential of biofuel production in developing countries.
>
> So far recommendations are to conduct further research into this plant and
> to use it to reclaim land that has suffered degraaditon, though as far as
> large scale plantations are concerned it is thought to be risky to invest in
> such ventures for obtaining biofuel products.
>
> Comments, thoughts and further insights into Jatropha are welcomed.
>
> To see the full article and download the reports available see http://www.scidev.net/en/climate-change-and-energy/opinions/reality-check-for-miracle-biofuel-crop.html" rel="external">here<http://www.scidev.net/en/climate-change-and-energy/opinions/reality-check-for-miracle-biofuel-crop.html%7Chere>
>
>
> Best wishes
>
> Miriam
>
> --
> HEDON LiquidSIG - Launched on 1 June 2007, LiquidSIG connects all those
> engaged in the production, supply and end use of liquid fuels, with the aim
> of developing their position in the market, through information, discussion
> and action around improved household energy.
> Unsubscribe www.hedon.info/Groups | Visit the forum online
> http://www.hedon.info/forum7
>
>


--
Nikhil Desai
ndesai at alum.mit.edu
India (till 7 Jul): (91) 909 995 2080/ 909 981 7187
Netherlands
Dear Miriam,

Thanks for this update. Many of the claims made in 2006 considering =
Jatropha were just too good to be true. Really soon there were =
indications that Jatropha is a crop as other crops: marginal lands give =
marginal yields and in this case there is competition with food =
production, pests and diseases. But the biggest problem in my opinion is =
that there is no real demand for Jatropha oil.

An interesting paper on the water usage of various biofuel crops is =
written by Hoekstra et.al and is available here:
http://www.waterfootprint.org/Reports/Gerbens-Hoekstra-VanderMeer-2009-Wa=
terFootprint-Bioenergy.pdf

Kind regards,


Ir. Erik Jan Rodenhuis=20



Rodenhuis Energy & Innovation
Veluwelaan 64
8443 AG Heerenveen
The Netherlands
T. +31 (0)6 5050 7199
skype erik.jan.rodenhuis
E. rodenhuis at rodenhuisenergy.eu
I. www.rodenhuisenergy.eu
KVK NL 01154815

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail=20

Dit e-mailbericht inclusief eventuele ingesloten bestanden is alleen =
bedoeld als een snelle vorm van communicatie. Als de inhoud onduidelijk =
is, gelieve u een en ander na te vragen bij de afzender. Dit =
e-mailbericht heeft geen gevolg voor enige rechtsverhouding tussen =
betrokkenen noch bevestigt deze, tenzij er schriftelijke bevestiging per =
post plaats vindt. Afzender noch Rodenhuis Energie & Innovatie draagt =
aansprakelijkheid voor de gevolgen van een verminkte weergave c.q. =
gebrekkige overbrenging van het e-mailbericht. Het e-mailbericht is =
alleen bestemd voor de geadresseerde; gebruik door derden is verboden.

E-mail communications are not secure and therefore neither the sender =
nor Rodenhuis Energy & Innovation accept any legal responsibility for =
the content of this message. This message is intended for the adressee =
only and its contents are confidential. If you have received this =
message in error please notify the sender. Thank you.





---Oorspronkelijk bericht---
Van: Miriam Hansen mailto:LiquidSIG@hedon.info=20
Verzonden: dinsdag 9 november 2010 18:57
Aan: info at rodenhuisenergy.eu
Onderwerp: LiquidSIG Jatropha - research by FAO/IFAD reveals its =
perhaps not the biofuel solution we all thought


A press released on SciDEV by Miyuki Iiyama, a fellow at the world =
Agroforestry Centre and James Onchieku from the Kenya Forestry Research =
Institute at the end of last month highlights some of the realistic =
characteristics of the thought to be a saving biofuel plant. Jatropha =
has received a lot of attention as a biofuel source as it can grow in =
semi arid conditions and poor soils with a supposed opportunity to bring =
high profits to poor farmers. As it is poisonous, this means that its =
use as a biofuel is not taking away valuable food supplies and land that =
would be used for cultivation of food.=20

Recent studies by the FAO and IFAD have however shown that Jatrohpa =
requires high levels of water and fertiliser and that generally yields =
are marginal despite policy decisions to use it as an oil bearing =
substitute. Many farmers are paying 12-25$ per kg for seeds and not =
receiving any training or advice on crop management. 75% of farmers also =
reported that pests or diseases had affected their jatropha plantation.=20

The FAO/IFAD report is stated to "Realising the true potential of =
Jatropha requires separating facts from the claims and half =
truths=E2=80=A6expecting Jatropha to substitute significantly for oil =
imports in developing countries is unrealistic".

With such a large conversion to this crop, in 2008 900,000 hectares of =
Jatropha were grown worldwide (760,000 in Asia) which is expected to =
rise to 12.8 million hectares in 2015, the need for significant research =
into the feasibility and sustainability of this crop is essential to =
realising the future potential of biofuel production in developing =
countries.=20

So far recommendations are to conduct further research into this plant =
and to use it to reclaim land that has suffered degraaditon, though as =
far as large scale plantations are concerned it is thought to be risky =
to invest in such ventures for obtaining biofuel products.

Comments, thoughts and further insights into Jatropha are welcomed.

To see the full article and download the reports available see =
here

Best wishes

Miriam

--=20
HEDON LiquidSIG - Launched on 1 June 2007, LiquidSIG connects all those =
engaged in the production, supply and end use of liquid fuels, with the =
aim of developing their position in the market, through information, =
discussion and action around improved household energy.
Unsubscribe www.hedon.info/Groups | Visit the forum online =
http://www.hedon.info/forum7


 
  • A practitioner's journal on household energy, stoves and poverty reduction.



Upcoming Events

No records to display