|Food & Energy security|
More than 60% of land in Haiti is underutilized or not used at all due to deforestation and subsequent soil degradation. GIS aerial & satellite imagery, analysis, and statistics will illustrate in detail land that is ideal for Jatropha cultivation throughout Haiti.
Our research programs aim at:
1) Minimizing the diversion of land used to grow traditional food crops: Jatropha has few requirements with respect to its environment allowing it to grow in areas that are too dry or too arid for other plants, or lands that have been abandoned by humans because of soil depletion.
2) Growing nontoxic Jatropha: High-protein animal feed is a potentially high-value product derived from non-toxic Jatropha varieties. Jatropha seeds maintain high-levels of protein similar to the nutritional content of soy beans creating an opportunity for Jatropha to produce energy, food and animal feed in larger quantities than soy beans. Haiti currently imports animal feed that is too expensive for small-scale rural farmers, effectively creating a large barrier of entry for animal husbandry, such as chicken, tilapia, and dairy farming. Unlike soybean, Jatropha can be grown on land that is not currently utilized for traditional food crops making Jatropha a lucrative and equally multi-faced crop.
Growing nontoxic Jatropha on land not currently used for traditional food offers the following opportunities for Haiti:
1) Reforest and restore the fertility of Haiti’s most degraded and marginal land
2) High protein animal feed. Haiti currently imports animal feed that is too expensive for small-scale rural farmers, effectively creating a large barrier of entry for animal husbandry, such as chicken, tilapia, and dairy farming. Unlike soybean, Jatropha can be grown on land that is not currently utilized for traditional food crops making Jatropha a lucrative and equally multi-faced crop.
3) Bio-diesel is a direct substitute for petro-diesel fuel that is equally efficient and has the potential to burn cleaner than petro-diesel if quality standards are met. Bio-diesel can be used purely in diesel engines as B100 or blended with diesel (at any percentage) creating flexible and low-switching cost consumption. The majority of Haitian liquid fuel consumption is in the form of petro-diesel and fuel oil, both of which use compression ignition engines and are ideal for use of Jatropha bio-diesel.
4) Straight vegetable oil (SVO) is an indirect substitute for bio-diesel, petro-diesel and a direct substitute for fuel oil. Jatropha SVO is the least capital intensive Jatropha fuel supply chain that enables small-scale farmers and producer cooperatives to maximize value added to the end product in the local economy. Jatropha SVO can be consumed in diesel engines that have been converted to run on SVO fuel. Examples of Jatropha SVO ready engines are most fuel oil engines and low-speed, gravity fed Lister type engines running under 1200 RPM. These types of engines have strong competitive advantages in the production of local electricity, grinding mills, seed crushing operations, water pumps, irrigation, and small industry due to lower fuel costs associated with SVO fuel relative to bio-diesel, petro-diesel and fuel oil. Approximately 75% of Haiti’s electricity is produced in large, fixed-speed diesel engines creating a large potential demand for Jatropha SVO fuel. SVO engine and conversion system technologies have been around for nearly a century and have been proven with Jatropha SVO in Africa and Asia.
5) Charcoal briquettes are an ideal by-product from Jatropha fruit shells and hulls. Charcoal is the primary fuel used for cooking in Haiti and is largely responsible for the rapid rates of deforestation in recent decades as a result of hardwood being the primary input for charcoal production.
6) Honey, produced from Jatropha flowers is a high-value Jatropha product that adds value at the local village level. Jatropha is pollinated by insects, primarily honey bees, creating ideal conditions for honey bee propagation in conjunction with Jatropha farming. By producing honey with Jatropha pollen, bees enhance Jatropha fruit production which equates into higher oil yields per tree and hectare.
Jatropha can contribute
to improve Haiti’s
FOOD & ENERGY security
The following map is just an example of what a land use model could look like. We are still gathering data to produce a food security compliant Jatropha land use strategy.
We are excluding natural parks, forests, improper elevation or climate for Jatropha cultivation, land that is currently used to produce food, land in plains and plateaus with a high potential for food production
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