Employment generation to rural and tribal youth by the cultivation of biofuelcrop–jatropha

Jyothi Swaroopa V, BharathaLakshmi M and Mounica D

Jatropha is a multipurpose small tree or large shrub and is found throughout the tropical region. In India, Portuguese Navigators introduced it in the 16th century. It occurs in almost all parts of India including Andaman Island and generally grown as live fence. It is well adapted to arid and semi-arid conditions. Jatropha is a vigorous, drought and pest-tolerant plant and unpalatable by animals. Traditionally, Jatropha seed and other plant parts have been used for oil, soap and medicinal compounds.Its cultivation requires simple technology, and comparatively modest capital investment. The seed yield reported for Jatropha varies from 0.5 to 12 ton year-1 ha-1 depending on soil, nutrient and rainfall conditions. The seeds contain 30–35% oil that can be converted into good quality biodiesel by trans-esterification. The demand of energy for maintaining the societal metabolism of developed and emerging economies like India has lead many governments to promote biofuel crops like jatropha.

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