The Centre for Jatropha Promotion & Biodiesel (CJP) announced progress on its work with Jatropha Curcas, a Biodiesel producing shrub that bears inedible oilseeds. According to the CJP, it has developed a micro-cutting mass propagation technique using the plants developed through its JCLMax3™ improved seed product line and a set of best practices that will enable high oil yields.
CJP started commercial farming of Jatropha from wild selected seeds 1.0 in 2003 and now reached with improved enhanced Jatropha 3.0 with more oil and more yield. CJP scientists are continuously working on enhanced genetics, agronomics and horticulture sciences to drive new varieties, more knowledge around the plant’s nutritional requirements and more science-based processes for the care and custody of the plant and have achieved reliable and scalable results in Jatropha energy farming.
Even a superior genotype variety planted in inadequate soil and improperly cared for, will be unable to reach its potential and will create dissatisfied stakeholders. The CJP’s goal is to triple Jatropha yields within 10 years, increase the oil content to 48 percent and in combination of other crops the target oil yield is 1500 gallon per ha. Further, to increase the quality of the oils and other products produced—while minimizing inputs including pesticides and fertilizers. The years of continuous research, experiments and in cultivating and breeding ofJatropha curcas and other biofuel crops, CJP was able to develop a systematic breeding and cultivar development strategy. Newly bred cultivars are extensively tested in multi-location trials and true to type seeds are being produced to high standards.
JCLMax3™ Elite HYV Jatropha Improved Seeds
Through its JCLMax3™ improved seed product line, CJP provides growers the highest yielding, most uniform and profitable Jatropha in the world. Improved seeds result in greater yield, uniformity and vigor while significantly reducing plantation costs for growers.
JCLMax3™ improved varieties have been tested and developed for a range of climatic and soil conditions. Through its research and development program, CJP continues to expand the regions for which JCLMax3™ improved seeds are available in more than 65 countries
CJP’s proprietary technology for the mass production of Jatropha plants from mini-cuttings obtained from the mother plant raised through JCLMax3™ HYV seed enables a significant production increase over traditional propagation methods.
- Quickly scales large Jatropha projects with consistent, high yielding hybrid Jatropha.
- Facilitates production of the large volumes of low-cost crude Jatropha oil required by major energy, oil and transportation consumers.
- Requires 1/75th the land needed to produce cloned plants by micro propagation, with the added benefits of HYV vigor, strong roots and overall improved plant health.
Compared to the traditional stem-cutting rooting, mini-cutting has many advantages leading to operational, technical, economical, environmental and quality benefits. Operationally, the labor demanded and cost is markedly reduced, due to elimination of labor intensive treatment with growth substances and many other operations required in an extensive outdoor clonal hedge management system. Many field operations like soil preparation, fertilization, irrigation, cultivation, weeding, pest and disease control, sprout transport etc are replaced by intensive activities in smaller indoor areas at much lower costs, where the amount of chemicals used is also drastically reduced. The rooting ability of mini-cutting is much higher than the stem-cuttings. Mini-cuttings produce better quality root system with a tendency for a taproot-like system in contrast to the predominant lateral root growth habit in the stem-cutting system.
Through multiple years of remarkable performance and a knowledge base gained through the evaluation and pre-examination of CJP’s entire elite stock of superior genotypes, CJP is now able to select and scale the top performing JCLMax3™ HYV for commercial projects in multiple geographies around the world. CJP is able to more accurately forecast expected productivity and economics levels over the lifetime of a project.
Jatropha ability to grow on marginal land and produce high quantities of sustainable oil quickly gained it favor over alternative feedstocks. Governments, investors and multinational enterprises began to adopt Jatropha with hopes of addressing climate change, energy security and rural development. Unfortunately, the crop had not yet undergone professional domestication, agronomic best practices were not properly developed, and many early projects failed.
Today, a Jatropha 3.0 era has emerged that is realizing the economic and environmental potential of the renewable energy crop. Investments and collaborative efforts among governments, research agencies, energy, transportation and agribusiness companies around the world are driving significant advancements through breeding, biotechnology and agronomics, resulting in significant gains in productivity and profitability.
Hybridization is an alternative promising great impact at relatively low cost in shrub breeding programs, and which can combine superior seed characteristics with tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress, thus providing a source of superior individuals, capable of yielding genetic gains in Jatropha productivity. Plants produced through micro propagation are uniform in size and shape as they are genetically identical. They are almost guaranteed to be disease-free. In addition to genetic performance, CJP’s team of agronomists has developed customized Package of Practices including irrigation, crop nutritional requirements, management of disease, insects and weeds. CJP is also addressing production practices associated with agronomic factors which are not directly related to the plants themselves, but rather the strategy and set up of the plantation system.
CJP CEO Abhishek Maharshi said the organization’s research team has identified and collected more than hundred high-yielding Jatropha Curcas candidates and evaluated genetic association and variability in seed and growth characteristics in order to develop improved varieties. The CJP team’s Jatropha Curcas work is currently focused on genomic and genetic research. Maharshi said that the work will enable highly productive plantations of the crop to be grown.
According to Maharshi, CJP researchers have overcome several challenges that will help enable commercial cultivation on Jatropha Curcas; “The first challenge was to get the required yield, to get the plant to grow and understand its productivity over a number of years, and another problem was its maturity of fruits”, he said.
Maharshi also notes that the CJP is not working to develop a high-tech agrarian concept for Jatropha Curcas cultivation that warrants maximum inputs and delivers bumper crops. Rather, he said the CJP is looking to develop a model for cultivation that is compatible with the practices of local farmer elsewhere in world. The goal is to make Jatropha Curcas growth profitable for rural growers while requiring minimal inputs. “The CJP experts working on the Jatropha Curcas plantation have developed the best method of cultivating these plants, which require the lowest possible investment of money, labor and materials,” Maharshi said.“The attendee of forthcoming 6th GLOBAL JATROPHA WORLD 2013 shall have the opportunity to discuss and deliberate on the micro-cutting cloned plants and technology “. He further added.
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