Journal of Fundamentals of Renewable Energy and Applications

Journal of Fundamentals of Renewable Energy and Applications
Open Access

ISSN: 2090-4541

+44 1300 500008


Economic Sustainability of Jatropha Cultivation for Biodiesel Production: Lessons from Southern Africa

Mmopelwa G, Kgathi DL, Kashe K and Chanda R

Growth of Jatropha carcus in southern African countries is a new endeavor. Claims that jatropha has ability to grow in marginal lands, multiple benefits, potential to increase energy security and mitigate climate change, have motivated some governments, private organisations and individual farmers to invest in its production under different business models. This paper presents results of literature review on experiences of southern African countries on economic impact of growing jatropha for biodiesel production. These results provide lessons for the envisaged jatropha biodiesel production in Botswana as well as other countries intending to grow jatropha in the future. While the economic impacts of investing in jatropha production are country and project specific, the review revealed that most projects, especially commercial plantations, are not economically attractive to the extent that they have been abandoned in some countries. The study concludes by recommending the undertaking of agronomic and socio economic research to fully understand the performance of jatropha crop before embarking on large commercial production which may be risky.