Nigeria proposes Jatropha value chain project

Nkechi Itodo, Abuja

Jatropha seeds used in the production of bio fuels

The Nigerian government has proposed a Jatropha Value Chain Project to boost production of green energy in the country.

Jatropha curcas is a plant that produces seed which contains oil that is used to produce biofuel. It is drought resistant and can be grown almost anywhere.

The project will create an avenue for the diversification of the Nigerian economy through empowering people, taking climate action to fight desertification, as well as reduce poverty in the country.

The Minister of State for Environment, Mr. Usman Jubril, who disclosed this at a briefing with the press in Abuja, explained that government would integrate the Jatropha project into the afforestation programmes of the Federal Ministry of Environment in partnership with State Governments and relevant MDAs.

According to Mr. Jubril, Jatropha “was identified by the Nigerian Bio-fuel Policy and Incentives 2007 as the most preferred non-food plant for bio-fuel feedstock for production. He said that if well implemented, the project would lead to rapid creation of a new green economy in the rural areas, creation of jobs and wealth from the cultivation of Jatropha value chain, and at the long run result in the establishment of an African Clean Energy Hub in Nigeria”.

And while the project is being proposed with the support of local and international experts to ensure that it meets the standards of the international sustainability protocols, the Minister said federal and state governments will play significant roles to meet its targets.

In view of that, the Federal Ministry of Environment would “organize a national conference on Jatropha to fine-tune strategies for its production in Nigeria, with a view to reaping the huge environmental dividends that come with the production, processing and marketing of the Jatropha plant. The conference will also develop an actionable national plan on bio-fuels which will drive the Jatropha Value Chain Project forward,” he concluded.