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NORGLOBAL-Norge - Global partner

Diversity and agronomical study of Jatropha curcas in East Africa at the CGIAR - World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi

Awarded: NOK 2.0 mill.

Jatropha curcas has a large oil producing capacity. Lately in the climate changing world biofuels have regained major interest. This is leading to food or fuel discussions of which Jatropha oil is not subjected, because it is toxic. In many parts of Afric a this plant has been used in 300 years for its medicinal purposes, as living fence and erosion protector, because of Jatropha unique root system and its potential to survive drought. Renewed interest for Jatropha is resulting in the starting up major pla nting activities. Jatropha starts to produce seed after a year with an increasing yield the next 7. The shrubs can become 50 years and produce depending on the agricultural management. So far no real varieties of Jatropha exist, and it has a large potenti al of increasing yield. The growing numbers of plants are also enhancing risks by pests and diseases, like flea beetle. Field genebanks are established in several parts of the world. It is necessary to collect interesting germplasm in Africa too. Our resu lts can make a part of an international survey without problems with the Rio convention. All the new planting of Jatropha makes it important not to wait, in a few years it will be impossible to separate select the old plants. Modern genebank management i ncludes working with molecular markers. That reduces the number of accessions and gives a view of the genomic spectrum available. To test for environmental differences two different sites are used. The fields can also be a start for testing of different a gricultural management research programs. It is necessary to test selected genotypes from other parts of the world too. An aquesition of agronomical practices and their effect on yield, pest and diseases and transfred to Jatropha growers. The UMB research group experience with other Euphorbiaceae as Uapaca and poinsettia, and is on the brink of initiating a large project in Ghana. The obtained experience with in vitro culturing of Jatropha will be exchanged.

Funding scheme:

NORGLOBAL-Norge - Global partner