“But unlike other biodiesel crops, jatropha can be grown almost anywhere — including deserts, trash dumps, and rock piles. It doesn’t need much water or fertilizer, and it isn’t edible. That means environmentalists and policy makers don’t have to worry about whether jatropha diverts resources away from crops that could be used to feed people.” Wall Street Journal
It all seems like the Cinderella story,the plant which was neglected by every one now becomes the brand new icon in fuel industry.Jatropha,is a shrub genus seen in all most the globe,can be the best candidate for the future energy production.Please click here to see the data sheet of jatropha technology
This plant can be cultivated extensively in India due to some reasons…
- India is densely populated country and the Fallow land holding per farmer is 1 to 10 acres. A family of farmer can take care of this size of land very easily, as far as plantation, harvesting as well as security is concerned. The infrastructure of Roads, Housing, Market is already there in Farmer’s village. This infrastructure substantially reduces cost, as compared to plantations on barren, vast, unhabited lands.
- Most of the farming in India is Organic by default. Cow dung is used as manure for Jatropha, and it is the cow dung which has done all the difference in low mortality of saplings, good yield, less pests etc. (In India there are 1 cattle for every 5 persons, 200 million cattle for 1 billion persons)
- In India, the day to day expenses are quite low and a daily per capita income of US$ 2, in rural areas, is good enough for survival. This makes Indian farmer, far more competitive as compared to farmers in developed world.
- The prices of Petroleum Products in India, are around US$ 1 per liter. If it is less than this, there is no incentive to farmers to grow Jatropha.
- Jetropha plant is very much resistant to pests,so i don’t think an another endosulphan will turn up.
I belive each country should have its own technology for the fuel needs and India can take Brazil as a role model for that,Brazilians are very innovative and the last fuel crisis (when crude was traded above seventy dollars/barrel) was utilized by them as a great opportunity to market “ethanol’ the bio petrol extracted from molasses via sugar-cane root. All their sugar factories turned out to be ethanol units) At present when crude is trading 50+ a barrel they are all out to find a new opportunity in this crisis (falling crude prize!). If their concerted efforts bear fruits soon there will gallons and gallons of solution for the fuel crisis (the bio-diesel).
About 5 year back Indian Railway Minister Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav has declared that jatropha will be cultivated in the waste-lands owned by Indian Railway. It seems that his declaration ended up as just declaration –as the crude prize eased a tad. Further declarations will come only when crude will jump to 80+ dollars a barrel. Indian Railway has got plenty of waste-lands in its custody, even leasing out it for jatropha farmers could earn a hefty amount for the Railways and employment for the laborers.
Panic grips the world at the thought of living without oil; energy security has become the buzz-word among economists and strategists. The hunt is on for alternative fuel that can replace the depleting sources of crude hasn’t made any headway. Oil has been a political weapon ever since the first Gulf-war. Developing nations bear the brunt as they are forced to cough up all their savings to buy oil and forced to cut food allocations.Indonesia and Malaysia both rich in palm oil have been promoting its use as a feed stock for the production of biodiesel. Many a companies have joined their bandwagon starting biodiesel plants using palm oil as feed stock.Brazil and Thailand are rich in sugarcane farms and hence tilting towards ethanol,which can be sourced from sugar factories.
We are not afar from a price hike of 100$ per barrel.Lets hope India will go ahead with its Own fuel technology in bio-fuel sector.