Mozambique Jatropha Project Fuels Interest in Biodiesel
In Northern Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique, farmers are growing a tree called jatropha. This hardy tree has attracted considerable attention worldwide because of the oily seed it produces.In 2007, Goldman Sachs indicated that jatropha held considerable promise as an excellent source of biodiesel.
Jatropha seeds contain up to 40% oil content. The tree can be intercropped with other plants, and serves as a natural source of fertilizer — it generates topsoil as it grows from dropped leaves that decay into mulch. Because its leaves and seeds are inedible, jatropha discourages foraging by livestock and thus offers protection to other valuable crops. It requires only 600 mm of rain annually to thrive, and has the ability to withstand successive years of drought and retains moisture during dry periods by dropping its leaves.
The seeds produced in Cabo Delgado have thus far produced more oil than other seeds used in similar projects, demonstrating that the province has a suitable climate for jatropha cultivation. Mozambican farmers growing jatropha are participants in Farmers’ Clubs organized by ADPP Mozambique and supported by Planet Aid. The Jatropha Project is being implemented in cooperation with the FACT Foundation and the Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture. To read more about the project click on these links: “Center of BioFuel, Cabo Delgado, Mozambique,”
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