Understanding the soil conditions is crucial for growing any plant, including Jatropha curcas L. In subtropical and tropical areas, where Jatropha is typically grown, there can be a wide range of soil types, pH levels, and nutrient content. Therefore, it is important to conduct soil tests to determine the specific needs of the Jatropha plants. Additionally, other factors such as climate, including rainfall and temperature, also play a significant role in the growth and development of Jatropha. It is important to consider these factors in order to provide the optimal growing conditions for Jatropha.
The figure below shows why lots of Jatropha projects had troubles in getting things right simply because the plants where introduced in new and/or marginal area’s.
Jatropha is a tropical plant that requires tropical temperatures and a minimum of 800 mm/year of rain. Excess rain up to 4000 mm/year is not a problem as long as there is good drainage or run off.
PROPAGATION Only recently seed and plant selection of Jatropha curcas L. is taking place, so the whole Jatropha industry is still working with a wild plant without known characteristics. Early trials showed a lot of variation between individual plants, which simply means that yield will be unpredictable and probably far from optimal. Therefore plant selection is crucial for the development of a well yielding Jatropha crop.
Propagating large quantities of Jatropha curcas is not a complicated task as such, provided that proper techniques are being used. There is a relation between the scale of an operation and the most suitable way to propagate Jatropha, but there is also a relation between propagation technics and yield.