Opportunities and challenges for the international trade of Jatropha curcas-derived biofuel from developing countries

  • NAC Salé
  • H Dewes
Keywords: Jatropha cultivation, strategic niche management, biofuel trade, India, Africa.


The interest on non-food energy crops is increasing, and among these Jatropha curcas has been highlighted as a possible source of biodiesel due to its characteristics of growing on barren, eroded lands under harsh climatic conditions, demanding low moisture and in resulting productive harvests. In face of the promising international biofuel market, several African and Asian countries are seizing biodiesel trade opportunities through exploitation of the benefits of large-scale production and trade of Jatropha though little is known about the agronomics of this crop for biofuel production. Thus, the
study aimed at analyzing the challenges and opportunities of large-scale Jatropha cultivation in developing countries for biodiesel export. The Strategic Niche Management framework was applied to
analyze socio-technological experiments of Jatropha cultivation in India, as a case-study because this country is currently the world leader in cultivating Jatropha on industrial scale and it has similar
edapho-climatic conditions and cultural characteristics with some African countries. Therefore, before engaging into large-scale cultivation of Jatropha in developing countries considerable experiments ought to be made with the participation of all stakeholders. Furthermore, for developed markets access biofuel-producing countries would require certification systems which take into account certain
specific environmental, social, and agricultural production practices.

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eISSN: 1684-5315