Jatropha cultivation, marketing and economics


Can someone please guide me about the marketing of Jatropha in India?

Also please guide me about the following details:

  • Expenditure for planting 1 hectare
  • Labour management
  • Govt subsidy
  • Time to grow
  • Breakeven point
  • Profit

Thanks in advance.


Market for jatropa in India

1.The Indian Railways has started to use the oil (blended with diesel fuel in various ratios) from the Jatropha plant to power its diesel engines with great success. Currently the diesel locomotives that run from Thanjavur to Nagore section and Tiruchirapalli to Lalgudi, Dindigul and Karur sections run on a blend of Jatropha and diesel oil.
2.Andhra Pradesh has entered into a formal agreement with Reliance Industries for Jatropha planting. The company has selected 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land at Kakinada to grow jatropha for high quality bio-diesel fuel. Kerala is planning a massive Jatropha planting campaign.
3.Labland Biodiesel is a Mysore based Private Limited Company. Since the year 2002, the Company is active in Biodiesel and Jatropha curcas-based Research and Development activities headed by its Chairman and Managing Director, Dr. Sudheer Shetty.

4.D1 Williamson Magor Bio Fuel Limited is a joint venture company between D1 Oils plc, UK and Williamson Magor group. This biodiesel initiative was incorporated in July 2006. Advocating the creation of energy from renewable resources, the company promotes Jatropha Plantations on the wasteland possessed by the farmers in the North Eastern States, Orissa and Jharkhand. The Company has a comprehensive network to manufacture bio-diesel from the oilseeds harvested by the farmers.

hope it helps!!

All progressive senior farmers I met have expressed their disappointment on Jatropha. They say it is a weed.

A grown up tree yeilds about 5Kg of seeds/yea.5Kg can yeild 500ml low octane diesel.

This will work out only in places land prices damn cheap and no good for any other crops and labour is dead cheap.

Sri Narayan reddy, spoke on this about 20 minutes.( I could notice the fumes while he spoke)

I have also heard from some growers that the cost of picking the fruit is more than the value of the fruit  itself. Please do research this before proceeding.

Thank you for your eye-opening advice.

Does this mean large scale mechanized farming is a worthwhile solution to this?  Any inputs/thoughts on if mechanized harvesting is possible?

I have been studying various non-edible oil sources for my research on Biofuels and particularly, Biodiesel. I have interviewed a few experts in the field who have dealt with Jatropha, Pongamia and other oil sources. Here are the excerpts:

Indian indigenous oilseed trees such as Neem, Mahua, Karanja, Jatropha, Simarouba are the best sources for Biodiesel. Among them, Jatropha was highlighted as the best tree which is ideal for commercial cultivation. After our former president Dr Abdul Kalam expressed his support for biofuels in 2004-05, there was frenzy in the market to plant Jatropha in a mass scale and extract oil from its oil seeds. However, by around 2009-10, the reality dawned on Jatropha cultivators that this plant is not a miracle! Here is a list of mistakes committed during those crazy days –

• Going for mass cultivation without understanding yield, pests and adoptability of a foreign species was the first mistake.

• Not choosing Indian species like Mahua, Karanja, etc was the second mistake. Jatropha was claimed to produce good yield within 3-4 years which can only happen when it is grown in irrigated land with adequate fertilisers. Jatropha requires nearly as much water per unit of energy as sugarcane or maize. - business-standard.com/articl … 073_1.html

• Labour is the biggest issue faced in all types of farming. This was never realised by Jatropha cultivators until they began picking the seeds.

• Biodiesel market price has to be much below petro-diesel to become viable. Current global average market price for crude Jatropha oil stands at $1,068 per metric ton, which translates to Rs.64 per kg of oil. No buyers will buy it at that price!

• In contrast, NGOs working in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Karnataka are helping landless labourers to pick seeds of Mahua and Pongamia, which still works out to be economical. A litre of crude oil extracted from Pongamia or Mahua works to be around Rs.48-52 per kg.

• So if Jatropha cultivators can produce at that price, there is a market for it. That means growing the plant on barren land without any irrigation or manure. Check my article - thealternative.in/environment/bi … ble-fuels/

I hope this answers your question