About this Site

A large part of this site will be in the form of a blog containing articles about individual topics of interest we come across in our daily work of Jatropha breeding. We are more than happy to communicate with anyone seriously interested in the many facets of this sites subject, either by comments left on individual articles, on any of the social media sites we use frequently or directly via email.

Bionic Palm Limited (BPL) was founded in Ghana in 2007. From early 2008 BPL is engaged in Jatropha farming, since 2010 also in Jatropha breeding. BPL has aggregated its own agronomic techniques and methods in an innovative model that combines food and energy farming in a synergetic way at a 70:30 ratio. Jatropha curcas Linn (JcL) remains our energy crop of choice while we also develop agroforestry systems based on tree crops like Cocoa and Moringa. A lot of our work is focused on the reclamation of depleted arable land in tropical Africa with more drought tolerant farming approaches. The continent’s challenge remains to achieve a self sustained food production while population is on the rise and climate change might have a negative impact on the region.

More detailed information about other activities we are engaged in at BPL and the Bionic Group of Companies are available online, so kindly refer to the links provided. If you are interested to find out more about the author himself you are kindly invited to review his detailed profile on LinkedIn.

This blog has emerged from earlier, more integrated BPL publications to focus exclusively on one single subject: the development of the elite Jatropha cultivars of the future.

BPL has entered this field in early 2010 for a number of distinct reasons that will be covered in detail in future blog posts, but it should be noted here, that the BPL breeding program has the farthest reaching goals of any of the JcL breeding activities known to us. Currently we undergo a proof-of-concept phase which is to be finalized by mid 2012. We can already see, that our goals can be achieved using carefully charted out breeding paths which will be implemented on a large scale from 2013.

Our key goals cover all four groups of essential traits:

  1. Seed quality
  2. Seed yield
  3. Agronomic properties
  4. Pest resistance.

All the individual traits we are working on will however be governed by a special effort to make JcL a non-toxic mass crop for green energy and high protein animal feed. High levels of phorbol ester toxicity in all  commercial varieties currently used causes two major problems for the industry: a long term health risk for farm workers and furthermore significant shortcomings in revenues as the press cake cannot be utilized as animal feed (At least not without expensive industrial detoxification processes).

The Jatropha Breeder blog was established to serve as a window between the closed circles of the Bionic Palm Jatropha breeding program and the outside world – or at least the small part of the outside world that is interested to know and understand what is going on at the inside. ;-)

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