The Project Jatropha Team: Adarsha Shivakumar, Apoorva Rangan and Callie Roberts
In rural south India, poor farmers cultivate and sell tobacco in order to support their families. This has forced them to cut down the local rainforests, creating a host of problems. Project Jatropha simultaneously combats poverty and environmental degradation using Jatropha curcas, a small shrub famed for its oil-rich seeds. The plant is remarkably easy to grow, renews the land it is grown in, is not a food crop, and has a large market in India. In addition, the seeds of the plant have high oil content, the oil can be turned into a biofuel that produces little emissions, and the leftover seed cases can be turned into a useful organic fertilizer. Project Jatropha starts at the grassroots level with an international collaboration with Parivarthana, an NGO that helps farmers, and Labland Biotechs, a plant biotechnology company. The beneficiaries are farmers and women’s self-help groups. Project Jatropha’s mission is to promote Jatropha curcas as an economically-viable and environmentally-friendly source of biofuel for these farmers. The team has already distributed 1000 high-quality Jatropha seedlings, purchased from Labland Biotechs, to 5 self-help group leaders with Parivarthana’s assistance. It has also fundraised enough money to purchase 12000 Jatropha seedlings for over 40 self-help group leaders. Carbon dioxide emissions are local, but their effects are global. Even though this nascent project has started on a small scale, our vision is that this is the beginning of a mass movement where small farmers will collaborate with an environmentally enthusiastic youth who will inherit the world.
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im surprised that u guys got permission.....we have a lot of problems jus trying to get any form of permission....it takes monts to just arrange one trip.......but we deal with a different set of ppl.....we try working with people who have drug and alcohol abuse problems to try and get interested in the enviro to make something of themselves....to b truthful sometimes they do a better job :-)
One of my friends showed me your web site a few weeks ago. We both go to PEA. It is a very impressive project. In fact, your project has inspired us to start a similar one in my mother's home state Tamil Nadu. I am in the process of starting a similar organization. If it is Ok with you guys, we want to visit your project site this summer and talk to you. We need advice from experts like you. Great job.