My first Growing Jatropha Manual is based on experience in India, South East Asia, Africa and South America and it is focussing on Agronomy.
Agronomy will always be the key to grow Jatropha curcas successfully, whether or not with selected varieties.
This manual goes trough the different processes from seeds, propagation methods, planting and pruning etc.
It is work in process, so there will be regular updates.
The size is A4, with 42 pages. (8 MB)
If you send me your e-mail, you will also receive updates. You are free to comment as well.
Jatropha and pruning.
Jatropha flowers at the top of the branch. So the more branches you have, the more flowers you have? Not true.!!! Jatropha needs full sunlight to flower and with to many branches the Jatropha plant becomes to dense and a lot of branches will not flower at all. Pruning therefore is a continuous process of thinning and choosing the right branches. Cutting back a Jatropha tree completely will cost at least the total yield of one season and it will take years to build up a good yielding plant again.
Jatropha and alley cropping (intercropping )
Most growing models with Jatropha do promote temporary intercropping with the idea that farmers have some income from the intercrop (food) during the time that the Jatropha is not yet yielding. This means however that once the Jatropha starts to yield there is no more income from the food crop, which simply means that the income per acreage is to low to be interesting for a farmer. Therefore the combination of crops should be developed as a permanent model, giving the farmer a reasonable income and food security and enabling the soil to get gradually improved through the interaction between the Jatropha alleys and the intercrop(s).