2nd JatrophaWorld Africa Interviews – KEY Jatropha Stakeholders share on growing Jatropha in Africa.

August 11, 2009

The 2nd JatrophaWorld Africa interviews is where you can get the “inside story” on the Jatropha solution in Africa and around the world. We feature insights from leading Jatro-entrepreneurs as they share their perspectives on helming some of the Africa’s most sustainable and top performing Jatropha companies & projects.

EPISODE 1: Mr. Ruud Van Eck, C.E.O of Diligent Energy Systems BV opens up on growing Jatropha in Tanzania, and the future of Jatropha!

We are thrilled to present insights from Mr. Ruud Van Eck, founder and CEO of Diligent Energy Systems BV, a pioneer in biofuel production from Jatropha in Tanzania since 2005.

During the interview, Mr. Van Eck opened up and shared some honest views on the status of Jatropha cultivation today, running a profitable Jatropha business in Tanzania, and adopting sustainable agricultural practices.

Mr. Van Eck remained positive about the outlook of jatropha as biofuel feedstock but pinpointed the challenges that Jatro-entrepreneurs will face in the next five years as, “Difficulty in Obtaining Financing”, “Offering Proof of Sustainability” and “The Land Ownership Dispute.

In the course of the session, Mr. Van Eck took a similar ‘no-holds-barred’ approach when he answered questions on:

  • What lies ahead for the Jatropha industry?
  • Why he chose Tanzania to grow Jatropha.
  • Why he chose an out grower system over a mega plantation model.
  • The challenges and rewards of working on Jatropha in Tanzania.
  • Niche Buyers of Jatropha Oil in the market today.
  • Benchmarking a price for Jatropha oil.

Mr. Van Eck also provided his view on the controversial report by the University of Twente, which claimed that Jatropha has the highest water footprint among all the BioEnergy crops. He verified the report with the professor in-charge directly and found that the sample size they used was small, and focused on projects located in high rainfall areas in Asia. Jatropha growing in low rainfall areas like Tanzania was not included in the study.

Mr. Van Eck shared his strong conviction, that in order for Jatropha to be sustainable, it should NOT be grown in places with high rainfall which can be used to grow food crops.

Subscribe to the 2nd JatrophaWorld Africa Interviews now to access the interview with Mr. Ruud Van Eck, “Sustainable Jatropha Cultivation in Tanzania” and for email updates on future episodes.

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