January 20, 2008 (Sun.Star) – The Kilusang magbubukid ng Pilipas (KMP) in Southern Mindanao expressed doubts about the advantages brought by Jathropa planting as well as the Biofuels act that is currently being debated upon.
“Foreign-funded Jathropa plantations are encroaching on agricultural lands and it only adds to the existing laws and policies that cause food deprivation among the poor Filipinos like the 70 percent farmers and farm workers in the country,” Celso Pojas, KMP-SMR spokesperson said in their e-mailed statement.
He said KMP received reports from their members that 300,000 hectares of land in Compostela Valley alone are targeted for Jathropa planting.
According to Pojas, Jathropa investment is one of the agri-business investments so defined in the development framework of the Arroyo government, which is causing the economy a great loss, and less food on the table for the poor and landless.
Pojas said they agree with the statement of Noble Peace Prize winner Dr. Martmut Michel and UP professor Teodoro Mendoza who categorically said that biofuel production is counter-productive to food production.
“Production of biofuel over what the Filipino people primarily need reflects the unbalanced, unplanned, anti-people and pro-capitalist development scheme of the Arroyo government,” Pojas said.
“This shows clearly why the Macapagal-Arroyo government has no real intention to distribute lands for the poor farmers and indigenous peoples. It wants to maintain ownership of vast tracks of lands up for grabs by foreign multinational companies in cahoots with the local landed elites,” Pojas said.
5 thoughts on “KMP doubts advantages of Jatropha”
I agree with the views expressed above. I for one believe that Governments should protect the livelihood of poor rural farmers than putting heavy emphasis of lucrative of multinational companies.
For us in very small Island States like Solomon Island we will have to be very cautious of any such moves.
Since we have just started planting the crop we will be looking for technical advice from organisations like yours.
We will continue to watch this colum for advice.
Looking at the green side of this issue, it will still be advantageous for a developing country like the Philippines to continue the plantation of Jatropha Curcas since it has significant uses other than biodiesel. Though this plant may be considered non-edible, it may still serve us some medicinal qualities. According to literature:
— Extracts have been shown to have anti-tumor activity;
— Wounds can be dressed with the sap from it and the leaves can be boiled to obtain a malaria and fever remedy;
— The seeds can be used as a remedy for constipation.
In addition, Jatropha Curcas can be grown alongside food crops and won’t compete.
Finally, Jatropha Curcas can stop land degradation, can reverse deforestation and can even create a signifant contribution to the world’s most urgent problem, climate change.
As a perennial (doesn’t die every year) Jatropha Curcas can sequester carbon too. A full grown shrub or tree absorbs around 18 pounds (8 kilograms) of carbon dioxide every year. 2500 shrubs can be planted in a hectare (about 2.5 acres), resulting in more than 20 tons of greenhouse gas sequestration per year.(Bruce Mulliken, Green Energy News, 2007)
I believe that there is enough land for both Jatropha and other agriculture plants to co exists. What we need is capital and technology to make it happen.
Indonesia is large country and have many islands that suitable for jatropha but have been not cultivated. Recently we were conducting some research about promising provenance and production technology of jatropha, also developed jatropha plantation but still in small scale because lack of budget. What we need investor who provide machinery and capital will become partner of farmer and a group of farmers in jatropha plantation. I want to share my experience about jatropha, well come to some foundation and institution that will invite me in workshop or seminar due to my concern on greener fuel focus on jatropha.
We have advanced growing technology for Jatropha and are looking for partners .
Our model has been used in different countries we have on going technical development .
It is possible to yield oil within 8-12 months of planting and high yields per hectare
In first instance email email@example.com to arrange a meeting