Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The importance of pruning cannot be emphasized enough in this title
Dear followers of Project Jatropha,
I feel that pruning is so important, that it merits its own blog post-which should say something. Jatropha flowers are borne on leaf axils of new growth . For this reason ,optimum new growth should be induced with aggressive pruning ,especially in the first two years . So, in order to maximize the seed yield , Labland Biotechs has taught the farmers to aggressively prune the Jatropha seedlings at specific times. Aggressive pruning entails cutting off the young blossoms and sometimes stems so that the plant branches out more, which will ultimately lead to (exponentially) more fruit being produced. This is critical, since Project Jatropha wants to maximize the economic viability of growing Jatropha; otherwise, the project will not succeed. I also feel that an example would better illustrate the multiple uses of pruning. Parivarthana decided to do an experiment of sorts with 5 of the plants from the Phase I farmers-they got permission to use them, don't worry. What they did was grow the plants using all of the agronomic practices taught at Labland Biotechs, and then prune the plants. Then, the cuttings were planted, grown using the agronomic methods taught by Labland, and rinse and repeat the process for 8 months. From the 5 original seedlings, 35 plants were obtained (including the originals). That's pretty remarkable. This example highlights the other use of pruning, which is to create more Jatropha seedlings.