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Projects / Jatropha

While Global Foods was operating its food processing plant in Ethiopia, it started investigating the possibilities for growing other crops than sugar cane. A crop that was being considererd by other parties in Ethiopia and that would fit Global Foods’ interest in renewable energy, was jatropha.

Between 2004 and 2006, it established and operated a small R&D plantation in order to monitor the growth of jatropha trees in the local environment. At the same time, it worked with a number of European and Indian consultants to develop and scrutinize a financial model for a commercial-scale jatropha plantation and extraction facility.

Doubts about feasability

After two years, the decision was taken to look for more suitable plantation land in the Far East, and an office was opened in Malaysia, from where the opportunities for jatropha development were further analyzed in the region (Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Philippines). At the end of 2007, Global Foods concluded that when realistic cost assumptions are made for irrigation, fertilizer and particularly harvesting, a commercial jatropha operation is not (yet) economically feasible.

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