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Evaluation of Jatropha Curcas as future en-ergy crop in some African countries.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Biofuels now days consider as one of the successful alternative to meet the challenges associated with climate change and peak oil, as well as a way for poorer countries to develop an industry in order to enhance social and economic development. In many developing countries and particularly in Africa, this has led to large-scale investments in lands by foreign companies, and as a consequence there has been a debate on whether these actions are environmentally sustainable and whether this kind of activity actually brings economic development. The investments of biofuels in Africa, espe-cially the Jatropha plantations are debatable. Several arguments have been concentrat-ed on development goals, economic issues and environmental concerns. This report evaluates the status of some Jatropha projects in Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanza-nia, the outcomes of the report show that biofuels from Jatropha lead to a significant socio -economic benefits by creating many jobs opportunities and improve the stand-ard of living in Africa. However, inadequate funding’s, high investment costs, no clear policies for biodiesel are the most challenging for Jatropha in Africa which need fur-ther mechanisms and ideology by African scientists, leaders, NGOs, farmers and deci-sion makers. In the studied countries, it was reported that the Jatropha produce low yields of oil seeds especially in the marginal lands with no enough water supplies. In Kenya the productivity of Jatropha is very low for large scale- project. Moreover some social and environmental impacts are also seen for Jatropha cultivations in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Some Jatropha projects have impacted the food security nega-tively; nevertheless some biofuels experts believe that Jatropha has no any adverse im-pacts on food security since it is inedible and grown on marginal lands. In Ethiopia, the main environmental impacts of Jatropha are related to biodiversity, water quality and quantity. In Kenya, the environmental impacts are related to biodiversity, carbon emissions, water withdrawal, pollution of agro- chemicals usage, deforestation and soil erosion, whereas in Tanzania, the main environmental issues are connected to the change of land use system, impacts on biodiversity and impacts on water resources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
, TRITA-LWR Degree Project, ISSN 1651-064X ; 2015:02
Keyword [en]
Biofuels, Jatropha Curcas, Africa, policies, environments and food security
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-170063OAI: diva2:827022
Educational program
Degree of Master - Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure
Available from: 2015-09-21 Created: 2015-06-26 Last updated: 2015-09-21Bibliographically approved

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