Despite the Indian Government’s official go-slow policy on Jatropha, several Indian states are now planting the crop in a big way. These are not the old style monoculture plantations that led to the central government’s recent Jatropha policy review. Rather, they are evidence that the initial findings of the review are already well understood and guiding new plantations.”
New plantations in Uttar Pradesh, a major agricultural state bordering New Delhi, are addressing three of the key findings of the review:
• Shortage of good quality planting material and management practices leading to poor seed yields (vary from 0.5 to 1 kg per plant per annum).
• Ownership issues with community or government-owned wastelands. While government records may identify wastelands and marginal lands, most of these government and community owned lands are under some kind of economic activity and/or temporary ownerships, and not available for Jatropha plantation.
• Monoculture practices which raise environmental concerns about the impact on soil health and the water table.
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