Hivos International

Presentation Jatropha Evaluation

This publication contains an evaluation of six Jatropha programmes that were started in 2008 and 2009. 

The pilots were evaluated in 2011 with the following objectives:

  • to establish benefits and prospects of producing the crop, the oil and subproducts for the small-scale producers involved
  • generate experience on preferred organisation and ownership models
  • gain insights in side effects and impact on food production and land tenure issues as well as required policy changes or policy development


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Durante los últimos años, Hivos ha participado en un número de programas piloto relacionados con los biocombustibles, la mayoría enfocados en la jatropha curcas.

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In terms of human development, it has been placed 172nd out of 182 countries1. With rural subsistence farmers constituting 85% of its population2, the lack of modern energy services in rural areas is perceived as a major impediment to raising agricultural productivity. While 20% of Mozambique’s urban population have access to electricity, this is true of only 1 to 2% of the rural population. The country is sparsely populated with large tracts of unutilised land, making grid extension unviable. The prospects for and benefits from investing in small‐scale biofuel production for local energy generation are therefore considerable. The Mozambican government is actively promoting Jatropha as part of its National Biofuel Policy and Strategy3 (see section II.9) A National Biofuel Council is being set up to coordinate, supervise and evaluate its implementation. Jatropha cultivation in Mozambique has grown from 7,000 ha in 2008 to 35,000 ha in 2010, and is expected to grow to 170,000 ha in 20152.

Renewable Energy

Agriculture employs around 70% of Zimbabwe’s population, but contributes only 11 to 14% to its GDP1. Around 50% of arable land in Zimbabwe remains uncultivated. In sharp contrast to its earlier status as the breadbasket of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe has been a food deficit country since the 1990s. Its annual food production regularly falls short (by 0.3 to 1.0 million tons) of its annual food requirements of around 1.6 million tons. Most rural communities live far away from an electricity grid, and rely on firewood, cow dung and charcoal for their energy supply. Over 90% of rural households depend on fuelwood for 96% of their energy needs. Though overall electricity access in Zimbabwe is considerably higher (over 40%)2 than the average for sub‐Saharan Africa (17%), it varies greatly between rural and urban communities, and between the poor and non‐poor within these communities. In 2001, around 19% of poor and 53% non‐poor households nationwide had access to electricity. In rural areas, the percentages were 2% and 11% respectively.

This document contains a powerpoint on Mali Biocarburant SA: Smallholders as shareholders
Presented on October 3rd, 2012 for the HIVOS conference: “Perspectives of Jatropha Production and processing for Small-scale Producers


Executive Summary Over the last few years Hivos has engaged in various biofuel programmes in developing countries with view to supplementing smallholder incomes from energy crop production (in particular that of Jatropha Curcas L.) while also promoting the local extraction and use of pure plant oil (PPO), as well as a range of other products that can be derived from it. Wider benefits for producers and the local community were envisaged to include the stimulation of the local economy and protection from volatile fossil fuel markets via the local production of fuel from oil crops. Hivos has so far supported seven pilot projects involving oil crops. The results of the ‘meta evaluation’ of six of these projects (based in Honduras, Mozambique, Peru, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe respectively) are presented here. The seventh (the VEDCO project in Uganda) was deemed to be in too incipient a phase to be evaluated. Chapters 2 through 7 of this ‘meta document’ consist of the separate evaluation reports of each of the six projects. The meta document also consists of a general part (Chapters 1 and 8), whereby Chapter 1 presents an introduction to the themes treated and Chapter 8 reviews the findings from the six projects in light of these themes.

Netherlands Programme Sustainable Biomass and Jatrophy projects, a presentation by Kees Kwant


Jatropha is not a wonder crop. In the last couple of years, producers and Jatropha‐based projects around the world have all come to this conclusion. The high expectations raised at the height of the Jatropha hype have had to be scaled down over the last four years or so‐‐roughly the period over which the six projects evaluated here have been operational. While some of its properties (see Chapter 1) enable Jatropha to survive on marginal and degraded land without irrigation or other inputs, the returns are too low under these conditions to be viable in terms of labour input and volumes required for PPO production. 

Presentation Perspectives of Jatropha Production and Processing by Janske van Eijck

Since 2005, Hivos has supported projects in Honduras, Mozambique, Peru, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe that are using Jatropha for local development. The focus has been on providing energy to rural areas, with added benefits coming...

Over the last few years, Hivos has engaged in various pilot biofuel programmes, mostly involving Jatropha curcas. These programmes have the intention to provide additional cash income for the farmers who grow the crops and may have additional features, such as adapting engines, converting the pure plant oil into bio-diesel, or even wider goals such as providing the community with renewable energy or dynamising the local economy.

Peru is rich in natural resources, including both natural gas and petroleum deposits. Big projects, like the Camisea natural gas project have transformed Peru’s energy matrix, thereby reducing the country’s dependence on imported diesel. However, rural electricity access in Peru remains below 30% (very low for Latin America), and over 30% of the rural population1 still depends on traditional solid biomass for its energy needs. In 2003, the Peruvian government and policy‐makers approved the Ley de Promoción del Mercado de Biocombustibles (Ley N° 28054), which seeks to diversify the fuel market and to promote agro‐industrial development, generate employment and reduce environmental pollution.

Honduras imports 100% of its fossil fuels. The total value of fuel imports in 2008 was equivalent to 67% of Honduras’ export earnings1, increasing steadily from 49% in 2005 and 56% in 2007. This, combined with the rise of oil prices, led to a number of initiatives for the development of alternative, locally produced, cleaner fuels such as biodiesel, PPO and ethanol, that were supported by the Honduran government via a new law2. However, so far mostly large enterprises have taken advantage of the opportunity3. Small‐scale initiatives, that benefit the poorer parts of the mainly rural population, are virtually nonexistent, due to the lack of availability of appropriate technologies.

Renewable Energy

There is a growing consensus among policy‐makers1 that energy access is central to reducing poverty and hunger, improving health, increasing literacy and education, and reducing gender disparity. Improved access to modern energy services promotes all aspects of development – it creates healthier cooking environments, extends work and study hours by providing lighting, provides power to drive cellular communication equipment in remote regions, to run small‐ and medium‐scale rural industries (SMEs) and to pump water for drinking and irrigation. It increases labour productivity and agricultural output by making mechanisation possible. In short, improved access to reliable and continuous energy services in rural areas is indispensable for sustainable rural development and basic living standards via improved productive use and agricultural development, and the provision of essential social services.

Presentation Smallholder Jatropha processing & products by Marieke Bruins


Chongwe green village, Zambia

One of the wealthiest countries in sub‐Saharan Africa when it became independent in 1964, Zambia is today an LDC, with 45% of its GDP coming from foreign aid and financial support. Its Human Development Index has seen a catastrophic decline since 1985, and around 70% of the population lives below the poverty line1. The significant decline in productivity of its agricultural sector has been attributed to reduced performance of the workforce due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Zambia is a landlocked country with no oil resources. The absence of harbours results in higher costs for imported fossil fuels. Liquid (petroleum) fuels account for 12% of national energy demand2. All of this is imported, in large part via the 1700km pipeline from Dar‐es‐Salaam port in Tanzania to the INDENI refinery in Ndola. The transport sector accounts for 53% of the national consumption of petroleum products, followed by the mining sector at 27%. Traditional wood fuels such as charcoal and firewood still dominate energy consumption by far, accounting for about 70% of national demand2. The present consumption of wood fuel exceeds the potential sustainable supply, posing a serious threat to the country’s forests. Currently around 66% of Zambian land cover consists of forest.

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Tanzania biogas project

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About 36 million people out of a total of 40 million live without electricity in Tanzania. About 80% of these live in rural areas where only 2% have access to electricity1. At the same time, Tanzania spends around $1.3 to $1.6 billion per year (25% of its total foreign exchange earnings) on oil imports2. Investment in biofuel could help Tanzania cater to rural electricity needs, improve energy security, and save valuable foreign exchange earnings. The government of Tanzania and foreign donors have therefore identified biofuels as a priority sector and are providing extensive support for investments. The National Biofuels Task Force is working on completing formal guidelines for biofuel investments. The latest draft National Biofuels Guidelines was released in November 2008, and includes inputs from NGOs like WWF‐Tanzania and Hakiardhi.