Growth and productivity of Jatropha curcas under semi arid conditions . ASHWANI KUMAR Engery Plantation Demonstration project and Biotechnology Center. Bio-Technology Lab Department of Botany University of Rajasthan, Jaipur - 302 004 Email. ABSTRACT: In Rajasthan, Jatropha grows wild in south east Rajasthan which lies on south east side of Aravalli hill range which roughly divides the state in semi-arid and arid regions. A detailed survey was carried out in these areas. Nursery techniques for large scale plantation of elite strains have been developed. An area of 35 ha has been planted with Jatropha curcas with the high yielding strains identified during the course of investigation. The morphological parameters have been employed to characterize initial growth of the plants in the nursery stage. The plants showing improved growth at the nursery stage in terms of stem girth and plant height had positive correlation on its further growth Some of the plants in their second year of growth have shown flowering and fruiting during moths of September to January. Application of fertilizers and proper irrigation schedule has improved the growth and productivity of plants. INTRODUCTION: Although Jatropha is adapted to low fertility sites and alkaline soils, better yields are reported to be obtained on poor quality soils if fertilizers containing small amounts of calcium, magnesium, and sulfur are used. Mycorrhizal associations have been observed with Jatropha and are known to aid the plant’s growth under conditions where phosphate is limiting. It is recommended that 1 kg of farmyard manure/ plus 100 g of Neem waste for every seedling, with a recommendation of 2500 plants per ha totaling to 2.5 t organic fertilizer per ha considerabley improves plant growth. In addition to this inorganic fertilizers such as N, P and K have been recommended after transplantation and the establishment of the plants. Twenty gram urea + 120 g single super phosphate and 16 g Muriate of potash has been recommended (IARI personal communication). CROP DENSITY: References recommend spacing for hedgerows or soil conservation is 15cm - 25cm x 15cm-25cm in one or two rows respectively and 2m x 1.5m to 3m x 3mm for plantations. Thus there will be between 4,000 to 6,700 plants per km for a single hedge row and double that when two rows are planted. Satisfactory planting widths are 2 x 2 m, 2.5 x 2.5 m, and 3 x 3 m. This is equivalent to crop densities of 2500, 1600 and 1111 plants/ha, respectively. Distance OF 2mX2m is recommended for commercial cultivation. Wider spacing is reported to give larger yields of fruit. It is considered good practice. In order to facilitate the harvesting, it is suggested to keep the tree less than 2 meters in height. Inter-cropping Specific intolerance with other crops has not been detected. On the contrary the shade can be exploited for shade-loving herbal plants; vegetables such red and green peppers, tomatoes, etc. CROP YIELD: It is very difficult to estimate unequivocally the yield of a plant that is able to grow in very different conditions. Yield is a function of water, nutrients, heat and the age of the plant and genetic makeup. However very little is known about the genetic make up of Jatropha. Many different methods of establishment, farming and harvesting are possible. Yield can be enhanced with right balance of cost, yield, labor and finally cost per plant. Seed production is reported to range from about 2 tons per hectare per year to over 12.5t/ha/year, after five years of growth. Although not clearly specified, this range in production may be attributable to edaphic, climatic and nutritional factors in low and high rainfall areas. MT/HA IRRIGATED LOW NORMAL HIGH Year 1 0.75 1.25 2.50 Year 2 1.00 1.50 3.00 Year 3 4.25 5.00 5.00 Year 4 5.25 6.25 8.00 Year 5 5.25 8.00 12.50 With irrigation Without irrigation: MT/HA DRY LOW NORMAL HIGH Year 1 0.10 0.25 0.40 Year 2 0.50 1.00 1.50 Year 3 0.75 1.25 1.75 Year 4 0.90 1.75 2.25 Year 5 1.10 2.00 2.75 Germplasm management: Seeds are oily and do not store for long. Seeds older than 15 months show viability below 50%. High levels of viability and low levels of germination shortly after harvest indicate innate (primary) dormancy. Superior germplasm is being multiplied at EPDPC, Jaipur. Seed weight: Seed weight ranged from 40 to 70 gm per 100 seeds. The seed weight was less in the seeds obtained from Loharu (45g) as compared to Amrit Dairy (55g) (Jhunjhunu District) and EPDPC (67g) Jaipur ( Superior germplasm) and 68g from the seeds harvested at Udaipur. Jatropha curcus is unusual among tree crops Perhaps its most unusual feature is its modular construction. The dry fruits and seeds will remain on the tree for some time, before falling to the ground, especially under dry conditions. Benefits include but are not limited to: Oil as raw material: Oil has a very high Saponification value and is being extensively used for making soap in some countries. Also, the oil is used as an illuminant as it burns without emitting smoke. Medicinal plant: The latex of Jatropha curcas (VanaErand or RatanJyot) contains an alkaloid known as "jatrophine" which is believed to have anti-cancerous properties. Raw material for dye: The bark of Jatropha curcas (VanaErand or RatanJyot) yields a dark blue dye which is used for colouring cloth, fishing nets and lines. Soil enrichment: Jatropha curcas (VanaErand or RatanJyot) oil cake is rich in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium and can be used as organic manure. Feed: Jatropha leaves are used as food for the tusser silkworm. Jatropha curcas extracted oil are used as : Bio Diesel, Varnishes, Illuminants, Soap, Pest control and Medicinal for skin diseases, and others. Oil from Jatropha curcas has been characterized and the detailed physicochemical properties are being studied at OTRI, Anantpur and IIP, Dehradun. At IIT, New Delhi transesterification assay for lipase has been standardized with Jatropha oil using Chromobacterium viscosum lipase. Screening of lipase activity for choosing the best lipase for transesterification continues. A new process called Three Phase Partitioning for transesterification Jatropha oil has been developed. It was found that 97% oil could be obtained with this process. Basic catalysis to convert all kinds of oils containing higher free fatty acid percentage is also being studied. Hydrocarbon content of the different plant material and from different parts of the plant has been worked out. At IIP, Dehradun, the process of conversion is being worked out and the testing done on engine. Initial seedling size determines the growth: Effect of growth regulators. (50ppm) Plant height Stem girth Fresh Weight Con 25 cm 1.75 cm 25.0 g CCC 23.5 cm 1.60 cm 20.0 g 2,4-5 T 26.5 cm 1.9 cm 60.0 g GA3 30.0 cm 2.0 cm 50.0 g IAA 24.5 cm 1.6 cm 45.0 g NAA 26.0 cm 1.8 cm 40.0 g Growth curve. Plant height Stem girth Fresh Weight 3 months 22cm 3.0cm 60g 6 months 27cm 4.0cm 125g 9 months 37.5cm 3.5cm 175g 12 months 45.72cm 4.0cm 200g 15 months 71.12cm 4.5cm 400g 18 months 101cm 4.0cm 500g Effect of N,P,K Plant height Stem girth Fresh Weight Control 23cm 2cm 40g Potassium (30Kg/ha) 28cm 3.5cm 75g Phosphorus (60Kg/ha) 38.1cm 2.5cm 70g Nitrogen(120Kg/ha) 40.64cm 3.5cm 100g N+P+K(120+60+30Kg/ha) 43.18cm 3.8cm 124g Rooting pattern and growth: Rooting pattern in cuttings Status of Jatropha Crop cultivation & Prospects in the State of Rajasthan. Department of Biotechnology has entrsusted University of Rajasthan, EPDPC and sanctioned a project to us (Professor Ashwani Kumar PI; Ms Anita Kumari Research Fellow ) under micromission programme to select and multiply elite strains and develop agrotechnology for large scale cultivation of Jatropha in Rajasthan. Rajasthan Agriculture Univeristy Udaipur (Dr Chaplot) and Forest Department Govt of Rajasthan (Mr N.C.Jain CCF) is making efforts for propagation of Jatropha in Udaipur division. Amity, Jaipur Campus has also undertaken large scale plantation and around one lac seedlings have been raised and are under process of transplantation under field conditions. Besides this an area of around 300 sq km is to be covered under world bank project in Alwar district ( Human people to people India Ms Annie Marie PI and Mr Saurav Incharge and Social Policy Research Institute, Jaipur (Mr Shiv Charan Mathur ex Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Chairman, Mr Sudhir Verma Director, Mr Shrivastava and Professor Ashwani Kumar Consultant). Besides this private farmers like Nawab of Loharu at Loharu, Amrit Dairy at Jhunjhunu, Agrwal Nursery near Pilani, and Nursery at Churu in Rajasthan have been actively participating in large scale cultivation of the plant. Mr Abhay Kumar, IAS Secretary (Trees for oil) programme is looking after initiative of Govt of Rajasthan and a policy for mass cultivation of Jatropha has been approved for encouraging participation of BPL families as well industrialists in the state. Leading industries like Reliance are exploring the possibilities of mass production of Jatropha in Rajasthan. During recent visit of Professor Reidacker (INRA France) and interactive session was carried out in which all leading groups in Jatropha research and plantation participated including Mr Abhijit Ghosh, IFS Principal Chief conservator of Forest; Mr Abhay Kumar, IAS Secretary Govt of Rajasthan, Jaipur and the areas to be focused were identified. Efforts must concentrate the yield including oil yield and reducing the cost of production. Suitability of this plant on wastelands needs review. During the year 2003-04 National Oilseeds & Vegetable oils Development Board, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India has sponsored a Jatropha Development Project in the State of Rajasthan through State Department of Agriculture. The physical & financial targets are given as under with subsidy provision: SNO Programme physical target (Number of plants) Subsidy Provision Total financial provision( lacs:Rs one lac is 100000 ) 1 Jatropha nursery 1.25 lacs Rs.4/- plant 5.00 2 Jatropha plantation 1.25 lacs Rs.8/- plant 10.00 3 Training 6 Rs.20000/- Trg. 1.20 4 Oil expeller 1 Rs.1.00 lacs 1.00 Total 17.20 Initially the programme is undertaken in six district viz.- Udaipur, Kota, Sikar, Banswara, Chittor and Churu district of the State. The Dy.Director of Agriculture (Ext) of the respective districts is the Nodal Officer responsible for the execution and implementation of this programme. About 50 ha area has been covered under cluster plantation of 1.15 lacs Jatropha plants with Gen., SCP & TSP flow as per Govt. of India provisions during the year 2003-04. Jatropha plantation is being initiated in the state by A) Watershed Development and Soil Conservation Deptt., R.D & P.R Deptt. B) Agriculture Deptt. C) N.G.O D) University of Rajasthan, Jaipur E) World Bank. F) Forest Department G) Rural Development programmes. Ratanjot (Jatropha curcas linn) family Euphorbiaceae is a native plant of South America but has a long history of propagation in India. In the State of Rajasthan this plant is known as Jangli Arandi and major patches are grown naturally in the tribal belt of Kumbalgarh in Udaipur division as semi-wild bush or shrub or hedge and is quite hardy to face dry wheather conditions and not browsed by cattle. The climate of Udaipur is a tropical one. The summer season is tolerably hot, with the average temperature hovering around 38.3° C (max) to 28.8° C (min). The climatic conditions of Udaipur, Rajasthan are quite pleasant in winters. The average temperature falls in the range of 28.3° C (max) to 11.6° C (min). Udaipur weather experiences scanty rainfall in the monsoon season, somewhere around 61 cm, approximately. Climate - Max. Rainfall is 61 cms. In summers Udaipur has temperature between 28.8° C to 38.3° C In Winters Udaipur has temperature between 11.6° C to 28.3° C. It flowers in March or in hot rainy season. The seed resemble with caster seed in shape but smaller in size and covered in dull brown black capsule. The plant attains a hight of 3-4 meters plants can survive in arid and semi arid regions of the state and even on degraded soils having low fertility and moisture. It can also thrive well on stoney gravelly or shallow and even on calcarious soils. For the emergence of seed hot and humid climate is required, so the climate of Udaipur & Banswara district is most suitable for its commercial plantation. The plant is also useful for hedging and soil conservation purposes but the small size of holding of tribal farmers of that districts is the major hindrance in the development of cluster commercial plantation in this region. About 5 kg seed is required for the plantation of 1 ha. The plant should be preferably raised in polybags of half kg capacity in the month of March-April. The seeds are shown in each polybag at 6 cm depth. The seed germinate after a week. The eight week old seedling (8 to 10 inch height) are used for plantation during July to September. The plant can also be raised during February March by cutting. The plantation should be done in rows at a spacing of 2X2 m under irrigated conditions accommodating 2500 plants per hectare. On rain fed waste land high density planting at 2X1 m or 1.5X1.5 m accommodating 4000-5000 plant/ha can also be practiced. The 30 cm X 30 cm pit is filled with a mixture of (FYM 2-3 kg; Urea 20 gm single super phosphate 120 gm & 16 gm muriate of potash). The plantation can be done by direct or transplanting method. During dry periods life saving irrigation is required in the State of Rajasthan. It flowers between September - December and March - April. The fruiting extends from September to December. The fruit mature 2-4 months after flowering. The plant starts giving yield after 3 years and a seven year plantation can yield up to 40 q. seeds per ha. The oil is used as lubricants, soap and candle manufacturing. So it can generate small scale employment opportunity in the tribal and remote rural belts of the State. Oil yield from established plantation can yield around 1.5 - 2.0 tonnes/ha. The future possibility of exploring Jatropha oil as bio diesel are going on at the experimental and industrial levels. It is environmental safe, cost effective renewable source of non conventional energy and a promising substitute for diesel kerosene, coal, LPG & other fuel oils. Jatropha oil has also medicinal properties. The seeds are sold in local markets at about Rs 5-10/kg and used in cottage and small scale household industries. Discussion: No doubt the plant can grow outside ist natural habitat but and can survive extreme conditions of dryness but its flowering and fruiting is dependent on available soil moisture and nutrient status. However under very good conditions of growth the vegetative growth was more as compared to flowering and fruiting hence some kind of stress is essential for its seed bearing. However detailed studies are required in this regard.