Suleiman Diarra Banani is now growing Jatropha Curcas on his family farm in Koulikoro, Mali
Farmers in Koulikoro, Mali could double their income by involves in Jatropha Curcas planting scheme. A plant called Jatropha Curcas is being hailed by scientists and policy makers as a potentially ideal source of biofuel. By planting a row of Jatropha Curcas for every seven rows of regular crops, the farmers could double his income on the field in the first year and lose none of their usual yield from his field.
One the farmers participated in this scheme is Suleiman Diarra Banani. His relative said that the poisonous black seeds dropping from the seemingly worthless weed that had grown around his family farm for decades now could be used to run a generator, or even a car. Until now Jatropha Curcas plant used as a natural fence between rows of their regular crops — edible millet, peanuts, corn and beans.
Countries like India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia are starting huge plantations, betting that Jatropha will help them to become more energy independent and even export biofuel.
But here in Mali, one of the poorest nations on earth, a number of small-scale projects aimed at solving local problems — the lack of electricity and rural poverty.