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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Importance of Fertigation in Jatropha Cultivation

Dear readers,

We decided to make a new post to emphasize the importance of water and fertilizer in Jatropha cultivation in response to the recent comment by Mr. Ihab Kenya. We admit that we are not experts in Jatropha cultivation. This summer, Apoorva and I received agronomic training regarding Jatropha curcas. We rely on the advice of scientists like Dr. Sudheer Shetty and Dr Geetaa Singh, who are considered to be experts in Jatropha cultivation. We have repeatedly advised our participating farmers that moderate irrigation for the first few years of plant's life is vital. The following YouTube video explains it better. I have also attached a part of our previous blog post to make my point.

Jatropha curcas CAN grow in wasteland or marginal lands-however, it will NOT grow enough or produce enough fruit to be ECONOMICALLY VIABLE. Like any other cash crop, Jatropha needs to have inputs-fertilizer, water (these two mainly in the first 2-3 years of the plants life, where it is still in the important growth phase) and maintenance. Farmers cannot expect to get something from no input. I cannot stress this enough (hence the use of capitalization at strategic points)-although Jatropha can grow on poor soils, it needs care like any other crop in order to achieve its full potential. Rest assured, Project Jatropha is having the farmers plant the high-quality seedlings on rain-fed, decent soils and has also provided the farmers with agronomic training to enable them to maximize the seed output of the plants given. It is imperative that wherever Jatropha projects are undertaken, especially in coordination with small farmers, that an emphasis is placed on the need to cultivate the plant if one wants to produce an economically viable quantity of seeds.

Part of this video clip shows the difference between Jatropha plants with irrigation and without irrigation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5HkDhNleqQ

Sincerely,
Adarsha

9 comments:

  1. Dear Adarsha,
    Thank you for the explanation and the YOuTube video. That is just great. I am very happy that your team and it's advisory committee is actively involved in farmer training. We need a Project Jatropha Team every where in the globe in order for the jatropha cultivation to succeed among poor farmers. The rich oil industry's story is different.
    You know, take my advice on this one. Don't you ever believe that wisdom comes with age and money. Listen to farmers concerns. You three are doing an awesome job. I will be following the blog actively. Put more video which will give clear demonstration of your efforts. Wish you three the best of luck. You are heading in the right direction and our future is safe in the hands of young thinkers like you three.
    Ihab

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  2. Hi Adarsha,
    I was listening to NPR news today morning where they for illustrating the national budget cut for Parks and recreation centers using Utah as a model. As you must be knowing there is 20% cut in CA as well.
    All school out reach programs are being canceled as well. This will be detrimental to the fight against air pollution. Because of recession more and more people are staying at home and visit the nearby park. May be it is a good idea to encourage the people to plant more trees in the abandoned urban area. However, with the budget cut, the nation needs to depend on volunteers to do the job of not only creating more parks but maintaining the existing ones. I want to know what is your take on this issue.
    Ihab

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Supreme Overlord!!,
    I became a member of Project Jatropha Group in face book. Your documentary is just great. You might be wondering why I have not posted much on your blog. I suffered a massive heart attack three months ago and underwent triple bypass surgery. It is a miracle I survived. Duiring recovery, I read your blog posts and watched all the YouTube Videos. It was a good way to pass time for me.
    You three kids have come a long way. You have shown that youth today are capable of doing many things the adults fear to do. I love the Haiti project as well. Your branching out movement, Global Youth Call are all very admirable.Keep up the good work.
    Blessings,
    Subbanna

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear ihabkenya,

    Thanks for encouraging us to believe that we, despite our age, can still make a difference-your point about how age and money do not equal wisdom applies to ALL people out there who are told that they cannot make a difference because of their age or financial status. Also, we intend to post more videos, like you suggested. However, we've got to see which ones are better quality, etc., but we'll certainly do so in the near future. In addition, I did hear about the budget cuts on NPR. I was deeply saddened, and infuriated as well-don't people realize that we need to reach out to the kids and teach them about the necessity of taking care of the environment? The budget cuts on the national parks opens up more possibilities for logging and mining companies and the like to gain access to these protected areas and exploit them for resources. However, there is hope-in fact, check out the efforts of the other Brower Youth Recipients, namely Robin, who was able to protect 1 million acres of forest in Manitoba. Again, thanks ihabkenya not only for the praise, but also bringing an important issue to attention.

    Sincerely,
    Adarsha

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Subbanna,

    Wow, the team really was worried when we read that you had a heart attack. We hope that you recover well and regain your health! Also, we're flattered that you chose to watch our videos on YouTube while recovering. We also appreciate your praise and belief that young people can make a difference in the efforts to stop climate change. Because of that, we highly recommend you to read the other Brower Youth Award winners' stories-they're equally inspirational.

    Sincerely,
    Adarsha

    ReplyDelete
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