Biodiesel, Biofuels, Clean Energy, Jatropha, Philippines

Is Jatropha Right for the Philippines?

September 18, 2007 (AP) Senate President Manny Villar has urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to issue an official statement on the practicality and feasibility of growing “Tubang Bakod” or jatropha trees in the Philippines following the assertion of the agriculture scientists that the tree variety jatropha curcas is not suitable for the country.Villar’s question to the DA was aired during a press conference held at the Marco Polo-Davao, in this city before he enplaned back to Manila after a one-day visit here.

“While we look at this as an important source of fuel which clicked in India, we should be guided by research findings on biofuels, Villar pointed out.

Villar made the appeal after Dr. William Dar, an agricultural scientist, said in a recent interview that an assessment of jatropha planting in the Philippines should be first done, adding that right varieties and its economic feasibility should be studied anew.

“Filipino farmers are expecting that Jatropha tree-planting will improve their livelihood, thus, truthful information by relevant government agencies on its viability and feasibility should be earnestly made so as not to bring false hopes,” Villar said.

He said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has also cautioned that seeds of Jatropha curcas can cause vomiting and violent inflammation of the mucuous membrane with a burning sensation of the throat.

“We should take into consideration the experience of other countries on Jatropha, where some of them indicate that this is not the ‘miracle tree’ as it was reported to be,” Villar said.

“The adaptability of Jatropha trees should be thoroughly checked because what thrives in India will not necessarily thrive in the Philippines,” Villar said.

Oil from Jatropha curcas seeds is used for making biodiesel fuel and is promoted as an easily grown biofuel crop in hundreds of projects in India and other developing countries.

A hectare of Jatropha produces 1,892 liters of fuel.

The rail line between Mumbai and Delhi is planted with Jatropha and the train itself runs on 15 to 20-percent biodiesel.

At the same time, Villar filed a resolution in the Senate urging the Senate committee on energy to study the rationality of the recent policy of government directing the massive planting of Jatropha trees for the last two years, citing that it may be a solution to the country’s continuous and growing dependence on imported oil.

In filing proposed Senate Resolution 110, Villar said the Senate study on Jatropha should be made with the end in view of formulating a long-term and more economically feasible energy program for the country.


18 thoughts on “Is Jatropha Right for the Philippines?

  1. Jatropha is just one of many sources of alternative fuels and productivity initiatives. While I appreciate the concerns of agri scientists, I don’t appreciate how gov’t is being bashed for promoting it. In reality, gov’t’s role should only be to lay the foundation for the private sector to get into business. That is all it is and should be doing. Individuals, LGUs, coops, and other groups should be doing the site-specific, project-specific studies. No one should get a free ride on this. Let everyone do their homework. Jatropha will be feasible in select areas in the country. PNOC-EDC and PhilForests are risking money to find out its viability. Let them. Success, as well as failure stories, are useful for all of us.

  2. here at quezon province we already started planting of jatropha so far results is very promising with great support from provincial govt.. we have tranformed once an npa infested province into a self sustaining baranggays fyi jatropha seeds is peg at php55.00/kilo
    you can contact us at 09208143211 for plantation visits

    • Hi Joel,
      A very good day to you. Taga Quezon din ako, from Gen. Luna. We have a family coconut farm of 18 hectares. I am thinking of interplanting it with Jatropha progressively. Say I will start on 2 hectares – how much will it cost? And to boost my moral naman, how much will I possively earn on the first year?
      I am looking forward to visit your plantation with members of my family, God willing.

      Perlita Sussn

    • i am glad to know about the success of jatropha business i am also interested about planting jatropha in mindoro oriental i hope someone can advice me about where to sell the seeds,thank you

  3. F. Lamers says:

    We have a new Jatropha selection which four to five times the production of oil than the old varieties. The new one is not toxic and on the end of the oil pressing, the pulp which remains, is very suitable as livestock and fish, is currently being conducted to shrimp.
    We want to try start new projects on the Philippine with the new Jatropha. Success guaranteed. You cane building next to the Jatropha nursery a farm for breeding animals.

    If your interest for this new Jatropha selection, please use the listed address.


    F. Lamers.

    • Dear Mr. F. Lamers,
      How are you?

      Your new Jatropha is hard to resist.

      We have 18 hectares of coconut plantation in the South of the Philippines – sad to say, the land is not producing much.

      Jatropa planting seems a better choice in this times, and I am interested for any possibilities.

      How much is your seeds would cost for say 2 hectares?

      I’ll be very happy to hear from you.

      Thank you.

  4. Jesse says:

    Im fully interested in raising jathropa, considering I have a 51/2 hectare of idle land which is just planted with coconut trees & banana. Would be glad if given potentially an info on how could this be planted with JATHROPA to produce an alternative fuel as such. Thanks a lot & more power sir/madam.

  5. There are many studies and researced done already. It shows that jatropha is indeed a very productive plant. Cultivation of jatropha is very simple. While fuel extracted from fossils is escalating, biofuel is very promising alternative. Small farmers can be benefitted.

    Extraction of oil from jatropha is not complicated as extaction of oil from other plants. This plant will minimize if not liberate us from dependence of fuel from other producing countries.

    Biodiesel is not environmentally hazardous. Let us support this effort.

  6. Elieser R.Perez says:

    yes that”s all TRUE and i am agree on that especially in our philippines transportation condition we should support. and i am planning to look into my home town in aklan to make our land productive. thanks and more power to all!


  7. I am from oriental mindoro and very much interested about jatropha business i hope someone can give me some advice me to know more about jatropha business especially on where to sell the seeds

  8. Eleanor Santiag0 says:

    to all those who are interested in jatropha business we have a joint venture project with Malaysia group – we have already started in some parts of the philippines – if you are interested on it please feel free to email : for more information . We would be very glad to discuss the business – fyi we both sell and buy the seeds.
    Thanks you.

  9. Pio M. Sian says:

    After 5 years of intensive Jatropha I have yet to see a single liter of Jatropha Diesel!! Planters had been had when Glo Arroyo got the $200M from Bionor of Madrid,(hush-hush deals, not widely known), so the people had been taken again! This poisonous weed rots in wet and rainy Philippine climate, best suited for arid climate lke India. What will be sold to the credulous Filipino planters next? Oil palm? Meanwhile cut the coconuts for inferior coco-lumber with no replacements. Coconut is still the tree of life. Do something to increase the value of exports. Phi still export Copra, a slave product of slave times at slave prices. Coconut macaroons and other finished products abound in the U.S. sadly they all come from Thailand..

  10. Pio M. Sian says:

    I dare and double dare the veracity of getting 1982 liters of Jatropha oil from a hectare of land. We don’t have 50million hectares to plant, our total land area is only 29M Hectares, growing Jatropha at best can give 1,000 kg of
    fruits per hectare each fruit weighs 15 grams fresh, 3 grams dry. Remove the shell we get 3 seeds at 500 milligrams each or 1.5 gram total for each ftuit.1,000 kgs yields 60,000 fruits times 3 grams that gives us 180,000 grams of seeds.that’s 180 kgs. of dried seeds. At 50% extraction (At Best)
    we can get 90 kgs of oil With Specific gravity of .8 the volume will be 112 liters!! Big deal! All that for half a drum of oil! Not counting the loses from methyl esterification, to remove the glycerol portion. I was never convinced Jatropha is a viable regenerative source of fuel, sorry, sorry for those who were taken.too.

  11. Vic says:

    For whatever purpose this may serve, you may wanna contact me should you decide to purchase agri lots (family owned) in Lucban Quezon. Call me—VIC 211-8249

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