Jatropha curcus seeds
Jatropha curcus belongs to the family of euphorbiacea . Even more than 176 species in the genus of jatropha , jatropha seeds have more oil content (30 -35 %)
It’s oil similar to diesel ‘s quality. Bio diesel is natural source of energy , used to run in diesel engines in agriculture and boiler plants in industry.
It leaves are not consumed by cattle, sheep. after extracting il from jatropha seeds , remaining seed cake can be used as green manure.
Jatropha curcus plant can grow upto 5 meters height , it grows well in arid and semi arid zones. It is cultivated as bio fence in tamilnadu . life cycle of this crop is about 30 – 40 years.
The species of the genus Jatropha curcus distributed from south America to Africa and Asian countries by Portugese. it is drought tolerant ,suitable for cultivation in waste lands.
Leaves of jatropha curcus are in dark red colour , generally 8 cm lng and 10 cm wide in size it bears a bunch of flowers . it’s stem is very soft . female flowers are bigger than male flowers in jatropha plant.
It flowers are yellowish green colour.
Fruits of jatropha curcus are dark blue coluor, has 2 to 3 seeds . when fruits are turn green to yellow colour , seeds are ready to harvest within 2 months frm the date of sterility of flowers.
Climate and soil
Atrophy can cultivate in all type of soils & areas. areas with rock soil , sandy loam , red lateritic soils, even poor soil also ideal for it growth. Water logged conditions are not good
Arid ad semi arid zones are ideal for it growth. jatropha thrives well in hot climate(50⁰C) and even with less warm condition during winter also .
It helps to protect soil erosion also.
cultivation technology for jatropha is given below. Seedlings can produce in nursery around the year.
Planting season is September to October during the second monsoon.
To raise the commercial plantation , jatropha can be propagated through seeds which contains more than 30 % of oil.
1660 seedlings are required for one hectare with 3×2 meter espasement. Fine quality seeds achieve 50 to 60% germination . 2 kg f seeds are enough for one hectare plantation. For raising rootstocks, fresh seeds should be used ( generally seeds are utilized within three months from the date of harvest). Old seeds giving poor germination.
To improve the germination percentage , seeds should be soaked in water for 12 hours before sowing .
Seeds must be treated with 1% Bordeaux paint or 0.2 % copper oxy chloride liquid.
Treated seeds should be shown @ 1 cm depth in 10 ×20 cm biodegradable polythene bags contaiing a mixture of red soil , sand , cow dung (3:3:1) , germination may be commence from third day the seedlings can be planted in the field after 90 days.
Field must be ploughed with furrower and disc ridger . Field should be leveled without weeds. planting should be done in the beginning of the monsoon. Pits of 30 cm ×30 cm×30 cm are at a spacing of 3×2 m has to be adopted, pits should be filled with organic manure and soil about 15 days earlier to planting .
90 days old seedlings should be planted in pits, and then filled the pits with adequate soil
Well rotten cattle manure or compost @15 kg /plant/ year during the month of May or June in the initial years to be applied.20:160:60 gm ratio of urea : phosphate: potash should be applied by two times per plant in every six month
Jatropha is drought tolerant , it withstands by shedding leaves during harsh climates. Even though , irrigation is required during planting time and then 10 -20 days interval irrigation is essential during summer.
Pruning is important practice to helps the growth of additional branches in jatropha , it also increase the flowers and yield of the plant. First pruning should be done at six months before flowering.
It can be done at 45cm height from the ground level. Second pruning sat second year before flowering.
From third year onwards ,pruning should be done by every year on February to march .