Thursday, August 23, 2012

An update from Bala from Pondicherry

Hello readers of this blog, and random people of the internet!

If you all recall, last summer, when Apoorva and I were in India, we went to the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, and visited Pondicherry. The reason was that earlier that year, we had been in contact with a man named Bala, who graduated as an engineer many years ago in India. After he graduated from college, he decided that instead of going abroad and working there, his talents would be more needed back in his home town of Pondicherry. Earlier, Bala had been trying to work with rural school children in a village 30 minutes away from Pondicherry by providing them with rural gardens and the like. However, he had some logistical issues, including funding. He contacted us back in 2010, and in the summer of 2012 we had enacted our plans. We went to Pondicherry and together, we purchased various young fruit saplings and helped plant them-with the help of a group of international volunteers from around the world (who Bala had managed to round up a while earlier)-in a local school. Afterwards, we contacted Labland Biotechs to see if they could give Bala some agronomic training regarding Jatropha.

Just a few days ago, we received some photos from Bala-the ones in this blog post are of him receiving agronomic training from Labland Biotechs. Over the course of 6 days, Bala witnessed and learned a good deal. At Labland Biotechs, Bala got to see various Jatropha plots on farms and in larger facilities, learning the various methods and needs of Jatropha. In addition, Bala got to see and practice firsthand the biofuel extraction and biodiesel conversion processes. Tissue culturing, seed harvest, seed processing, storage, and byproduct management were among the other things that Labland Biotechs showed Bala.

If you have any questions or comments/constructive criticism, feel free to post in the comments section or shoot me an email if you so desire! The next blog post will be about Project Jatropha's Phase IV, and how it has been initiated-pictures included!


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