JOil tastes success in India field trials
JOil (S) Pte. Ltd., a scientific bioenergy crop developer of a new generation of Jatropha, is said to have achieved an average seed yield of 3.53 metric tonnes per hectare in the third year of its large scale India field trials. Unpruned, the yield will be 4.42 metric tonnes per hectare. These results place JOil’s elite Jatropha varieties on track to deliver a year 4 projected yield of more than 4.5 metric tonnes per hectare. This puts JOil seedlings within reach of the target yield of 5 metric tonnes per hectare at which point large-scale commercial viability is achieved. The trials were conducted on JO S1 and JO S2, two open-pollinated JOil-developed Jatropha varieties shown to have high uniformity and productivity over three generations. JOil trials in India are being conducted across sites located in the southern part of Tamil Nadu.
According to JOil’s CTO, Dr Srinivasan Ramachandran, the increase in yield of the plants in the third year would have been > 4.2 metric tonnes per hectare with optimized spacing and without pruning. However, in the actual JOil field trials, rigorous pruning was done on the plants uniformly across locations in the third year to maintain the canopy in shape, resulting in a yield of 3.53 metric tonnes per hectare. “The results of the India field trials take Jatropha closer to commercial viability, which we believe is within two years from now, once a yield of five metric tonnes of seeds per hectare is achieved,” said Dr Srinivasan.