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Jatropha curcas for rural development in Sub-Saharan Africa: agronomic and socio-economic sustainability

Lubino, Marcello (2014) Jatropha curcasfor rural development in Sub-Saharan Africa: agronomic and socio-economic sustainability. Doctoral Thesis.

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In the forthcoming years, 1-2 million hectares of Jatropha curcas L. are expected to be annually planted, reaching 12.8 million hectares worldwide by 2015. This considerable expansion is due to its products and by-products multiple uses and its amazing adaptability. J. curcas oil extracted by seeds is a promising renewable feedstock for biodiesel production and, together with the oil extraction by-products, it can be used in as cooking/lighting fuel, bio-pesticide, organic fertilizer, combustible fuel, and for soap making, contributing to mitigate environmental problems in developing countries. Nevertheless, J. curcas is not a “miracle tree”. Indeed, the full potential of J. curcas is far from being achieved and its talents are still to be supported by scientific evidences.
The present Ph.D. thesis aims to: (i) detail each phase of J. curcas productive chain from sowing to biodiesel and by-products, in order to logically organize the knowledge around J. curcas system, and to compare potentialities and criticalities of J. curcas; (ii) assess the socio-economic and environmental sustainability of smallholder local and decentralized J. curcas plantations, promoted by cooperation rural development cooperation projects in Sub-Saharan Africa; (iii) explore the effects of different pre-sowing treatments on germination behaviour of J. curcas seeds and to assess the growth of the seedlings; and (iv) investigate physiological responses, in term of growth and photosynthesis, of J. curcas seedlings exposed to a severe soil drought stress. The conducted studies confirmed that community-based initiatives on J. curcas plantation could positively contribute to the rural livelihoods in developing countries. However, it is still necessary to fill some knowledge gaps and much more research is required for guaranteeing a full socio-economic and environmental sustainability of J. curcas used as a trigger of rural development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis
ID Code:9383
Contributors:Roggero, Pier Paolo
Publisher:Università degli studi di Sassari
Uncontrolled Keywords:Physic nut, biodiesel, rural development, seed germination, water stress
Subjects:Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > AGR/02 Agronomia e coltivazioni erbacee
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Agraria
Cicli, scuole e corsi:Ciclo 26 > Scienze e Biotecnologie dei sistemi agrari e forestali e delle produzioni alimentari > Produttività delle Piante coltivate
Deposited On:01 Apr 2014 10:06

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