In India, Marketwatch is reporting on Mission New Energy’s contracts with more than 100,000 Indian farmers to grow jatropha.
Biofuels Digest Asia editor Joelle Brink commented, “Yep, it’s still India where jatropha 1.0 bloomed and died, and where Bharat Petroleum got busted for trying to do the biggest landgrabs since Genghis Khan, at government expense, in the process giving Jatropha a global bad rep.
“If I were SG Biofuels I would have a long talk with Mission’s Nathan Mahalingam before dipping my flipper in this shark tank. He played a leading role with the government in saving jatropha (that rebirth was “Jatropha 2.0”) post-Bharat Petroleum. Mission’s model is purposely everything Bharat Petroleum’s was not: — farmer-friendly, fostering grassroots entrepreneurship, and connecting farmers directly to each other and the Australian head office via the Internet.
“Of course Mission’s “mission” was always dual, combing social and economic uplift with profitability, and it has paid off for them, bigtime. Their farmers recruit other farmers into the program and train them as well. It’s as much a social movement as a business and so wherever Mission goes, it meets with approval. So far Bharat Petroleum hasn’t said anything about farmers, their status, training and opportunities to better themselves. Considering Mission’s achievements, This needs to be be a key part of their business model if they expect to succeed.”