This document reflects the response of FACT Foundation to the recently published report “Jatropha! A socio‐economic pitfall for Mozambique”1, by Justiça Ambiental (JA) and União Nacional de Camponeses (UNAC). The report describes the results of a study on Jatropha production in
Mozambique carried out in 2009. The study includes a literature survey, interviews during site visits to small communities and large plantation jatropha projects in South‐ and Central Mozambique, and interviews with other individuals, including representatives from biofuel companies.
In the past 5 years, FACT has been involved in several community level jatropha projects around the world (including Mozambique) and has built a large body of knowledge based on its experience and that of others. FACT is well aware of both the merits and shortcomings of jatropha, and has actively contributed to revealing unsubstantiated claims that have been made in the past.
Mozambique. The project is based on small scale Jatropha cultivation for subsistence farmers, and has
the following features:
•Farmers are motivated to plant jatropha in hedges around their fields. They are provided with low cost inputs and trained in conservation farming together with jatropha, leading to increased food crop yields plus jatropha seeds.
•Farmers are united in 36 farmers clubs of 50 farmers, engaging both men and women.
•No chemicals are provided, but natural fertilizers are used plus local plants that repel insects.
•A local small industrial oil processing workshop has been developed, which buys the seeds from the farmers and produces oil to be used in modified diesel engines.
However, it is concluded that it is quite possible to develop a local market for Pure Plant Oil, to be used as diesel replacement for locally used diesel engines driving maize mills or generators.
However the studies dont prove that Jatropha can grow without water or care on wastelands. A proper technology for growing Jatropha has been described elsewhere.