Centre for Jatropha Promotion to hold jojoba workshop

By Erin Voegele | April 09, 2012

The Centre for Jatropha Promotion & Biodiesel (CJP) is holding a two-day research and training program on jojoba May 25-26. The workshop, titled “Global Jojoba World 2012,” is scheduled to take place in Jaipur, India. According to information released by the CJP, the event will address genetics, agronomics and horticulture advancement in jojoba farming. Factors, such as market dynamics, will also be addressed.

Jojoba is a perennial shrub native to certain desert regions of the U.S. and Mexico. It is also used in India to help prevent desertification. The seeds of the plant produce oil comprised of long straight-chain wax esters. On its website, the CJP describes why jojoba might make a good biofuel feedstock.

According to the CJP, jojoba seeds contain an average of 50 percent oil, even when grown in different regions. Additional benefits associated with the crop are that it can be grown in desert regions and on marginal lands. It is also drought tolerant. Regarding its potential as a potential feedstock for biofuels, the CJP notes that the oil contained within jojoba seeds has high energy content.

The CJP has also published information on the cultivation and yields of the plant. When establishing jojoba plantations, the CJP said that seeds or seedlings need to be watered extensively via irrigation for the first two years during the early winter and spring. By the end of the second year, the plants roots, which can grow to lengths of 40 feet, should reach the groundwater sources, enabling growth without additional watering.

According to CJP estimates, economically significant oil yields are generally produced in the fourth or fifth year of growth. Wild plants have produced as much as 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of seeds.

Attendees of the event will be able to use the resources presented to focus their goals and improve their cultivation practices, the CJP said. The event is also expected to provide a framework for the industry to determine its needs in terms of future growth, research and development.

“Jojoba has demonstrated a favorable response to many of the practices and techniques currently used in agriculture, but research is needed to understand the unique properties that can be manipulated to coax the crop to reach its fullest potential,” the CJP said  in a statement announcing the workshop. 


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