Kasargod (Kerala): Jatropha Curcas plants which produce bio- diesel are being grown in the waste lands Kasargod district in northern Kerala.
Besides dibbling more than 5000 seeds of Jatropha the state forest department has already planted 42000 seedlings in around 22 hectares of waste lands in the forest of Kasargod.
Apart from waste lands of Kasargod there is also a plann to utilise boundaries and waysides of the district. If this would be implemented, there would definitely be more financial benefit.
Jatropha not only can grow in degraded soil in arid or semi arid atmosphere, but it can also withstand long period of drought and can bear acidic rain fall as well. The plant starts yielding seeds by the third year of its plantation and can continue till 25 to 30 years.
According to the department, one hectare of land can produce 10 tons of seeds out of which 37 per cent oil can be extracted.
Bio-diesel produced from Jatropha can be used in any automobile. India which import more than 70 per cent of its crude oil can look forward to source a part of its oil seeds, if jatropha is extended to more areas, which otherwise might not be fertile for agriculture.