USDA says plantation jatropha is bad for Africa; small-scale better

April 28, 2011 |

In Tanzania, the USDA’s initiative to help smallholder farmers—Pamoja Inc—says that jatropha is a bad idea for Africa when grown as plantations and should instead be grown by farmers on a small-scale basis as hedgerows. “In a country where over 90 per cent of all fuel consumed is for domestic energy, the priority need is not for biodiesel but for safe, renewable cooking fuel. Yet I calculate that if three million small farmers grew Jatropha as noted above, Tanzania would be self-sufficient in biodiesel as well — with no large plantations required. It is not a choice of food versus fuel. We need both food and fuel to survive and thrive,” said co-director Jonathan Otto.


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Category: International

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