Thursday, March 24, 2011

Excellent new report on the future of Jatropha published

An excellent investor oriented 43 page report on Jatropha (JcL) has been published by Hardman & Co titled "Plant with a bad Name". It is definitely the best publication of this kind we have ever seen anywhere, a must read for any serious player in the industry. The full document can be downloaded here.
The report points out the simple fact, that spectacular failures in the past with a number of JcL projects are no indication for the performance of this crop in the future. The past was based on semi wild planting material and little agronomic knowledge on how to manage it correctly. There was simply not enough scientific and practical background for commercial JcL farming. The report shows in detail, how this situation is changing rapidly. "Professional planters, working with Jatropha crop scientists are now developing commercially sized and scalable plantations in suitable growing locations. These ventures have the potential to prove the commercial case for Jatropha as a biofuels feedstock." This statement from the report sums up all the contained details very well, which have been brought together in one place for the first time.

Bionic Palm itself is at the forefront of this development with its world class JcL breeding program and its integrated food & fuel farming concept. Both approaches are unique in several ways and the goals exceed highly marketed activities by others. That's why we started calling our platform JcL3.0.

We focus on the development of non toxic, high yielding hybrid cultivars in our genetic marker assisted breeding program where we partner with Geneticlab, a world leader in commercial research on molecular genetics of JcL. The report describes the great opportunities of a detoxification process for the  press cake, a process said to be commercially available by 2012/2013. We are very confident, that our focused hybrid breeding process will turn out the first commercially usable non-toxic planting material  within about the same time frame. Non-toxic or at least controlled low-toxic material is actually a must for the future protection of workers' health, as it is well known, that current JcL can become a serious long term health hazard to farm workers exposed to it for years. We will soon publish a document, that is going to look at the many advantages of non-toxic hybrid planting material vs. the current toxic one even with detoxification available.

Our integrated food & fuel farming is another piece of leading edge JcL development which we have been testing intensively over the last 3 years on our 150ha test plantation. This presentation explains most of the aspects involved in detail. The concept is highly sustainable, can reclaim depleted and eroded soils and generate food outputs currently unseen in Sub Saharan Africa, while still generating significant volumes of Jatropha products.