Producers threaten to bring production of jatropha to an end in Mozambique’s Nampula province

19 March 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 19 March – The lack of buyers for jatropha produced in the Mozambican province of Nampula may lead to the crop, which is a raw material for biofuel production, being abandoned Mozambican newspaper Notícias reported.

The situation is most critical in the districts of Meconta and Muecate where producers have focused heavily on the crop since it was introduced about three years ago, achieving yields that were considered satisfactory when compared to other areas of the province.

Notícias added that production in the first three agricultural campaigns in that region of Mozambique remained in farmer’s storage barns without a single buyer in sight.

The start of production of jatropha began following a government decision to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, but a lack of companies interested in buying jatropha from family-based producers is making farmers decide to give up on the crop, the daily said.

The paper also said that during a visit to Nampula by the deputy minister for Tourism, Rosário Mualeia, the provincial director for Agriculture, José Varimelo said that the crop obtained over the first three campaigns did not justify its commercialisation.

Varimelo also said that producers had been advised to use the crop for seed or for commercialisation to others interested in producing it.

The provincial director for Agriculture also mentioned that the board of Companhia Industrial do Monapo, which has a production line for biofuel produced from jatropha, is of the opinion that the crop harvested so far in the province does not justify the start of operations at its factory. (macauhub)