Research into Cultivation of Jatropha

COSTA RICA – United Biofuels of America (UBA) and Agronegocios Costa Rica para el mundo have joined forces to research the development of models for the cultivation of Jatropha.

The research will look to develop, research and monitor the crop on 5,000 square metres of land, to obtain a sustainable and economic crop.

One of the main constraints that has the production of vegetable oil to produce biodiesel from the Jatropha curcas, is the lack knowledge on agricultural practices that should be given to the plantation for the production of fruits (seeds), although a tempate plant native to Central America, with high hardiness, adaptability to drought conditions and low incidence of pests, is not a highly productive fruit plant under a wild plant management, Agronegocios said.

“This tells us that if we consider the cultivation of Jatropha curcas as a real option for Biofuels production design is focused on driving technological packages and increase productivity of the Tempate plant. This technology package design is achieved through a process of Research & Development,” the organisation said in a press statement.

UBA, which researches and develops innovation in the Biofuels sector, is designing the technology packages for cultivation of Jatropha curcas – a project that will last over the next five years.

UBA is working with government institutions, universities, organisations and private enterprises.

“We will begin this process of Research & Development in the south of Costa Rica, under a multipurpose model of operation, combining the development of a farm of 5000 m2 parcels with an urban vision over time,” Agronegocios said.

“In each plot, we will establish a technology package with a model of research and technical monitoring for the cultivation of Jatropha curcas. We plan to obtain the first results of our research at the end of 2011, and so interpret trends that will shape each research models established.”

From 2011, UBA and Agronegocios Costa Rica para el mundo will aim to plant 50 hectares quarterly.

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