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Date : 28/11/2008
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Jatropha is a plant of Latin American origin known as "Ratanjyot" in India is now wide spread throughout arid semi arid and tropical regions of the world. It is a member of the Euphorbiaceous family drought resistant and having average life span of about 40-50 years depending upon the climatic conditions. About 70 species of Jatropha are available worldwide.

Jatropha also known as the Physic Nut is a plant which may hold such promise. Able to tolerate arid climates rapidly growing useful for a variety of products Jatropha can yield up to minimum three tons of biofuel (additive to petroleum diesel) per year per hectare. A close relative to the castor plant its oil has the same medicinal properties.

Jatropha flowers profusely during November-December and in April-May (lesser yield) without any external water supply. Each fruit of Jatropha curcas bears 2-3 seeds each of which weighs between 600 and 700 mg. But if some water can be supplied through drip irrigation or by any other means then the plant will bear fruit round the year. This will enable uninterrupted supply of seeds by which methyl esters/ethyl esters (biofuel) can be produced.