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Jatropha farming on common land has begun in Andhra Pradesh  India.

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />FES has been working with state governments to help communities achieve legal recognition for the wasteland commons. It has already assisted communities in six states to establish long-term leases over the areas they depend on and is promoting investment in land restoration through the NREGS. The organisation is also working with the South Asia Pro-Poor Livestock Programme to document the value of the commons to poor livestock keepers, to protect the land and to help other communities diversify into animal husbandry.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Despite progress in these areas, India is simply too large for FES to protect all the affected communities and jatropha plantations have already swallowed-up pockets of common land. Significantly, in the same month that the government unveiled its new biofuels target, state-run refinery Bharat Petroleum announced plans to invest US$480 million in jatropha production. The race for ‘wasteland’ is well underway.

This report originally appeared on the website « Rational Urban Planning

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