Implementation of knowledge and innovation on Jatropha curcas utilization in West African countries

Unfavourable weather conditions have provoked a severe food crisis and malnutrition in the Sahel region, especially in Niger, Burkina Faso and Senegal. The depletion of natural resources, associated with increased energy requirements over the years, has taken its toll on the socioeconomic conditions of rural communities.

Project Templates

Through a participatory approach, the project will focus on:

  • Mitigation of desertification processes in arid and semi-arid areas of Burkina Faso, Senegal and Niger.
  • Contribution to poverty reduction and livelihood security of local communities by providing know-how on the development of alternative and sustainable income-generating activities.
  • Contribution to the empowerment of women and youth, and promotion of gender equality.


  • Transferring knowledge and building capacity on rehabilitation techniques in marginal areas through the promotion and use of drought-resistant species (Jatropha spp).
  • Strengthening the management capacities and entrepreneurial flair of local stakeholders through demonstration and training sessions on Jatropha utilisation technologies.

The food crisis has increased the vulnerability of the population despite the intervention of humanitarian organisations and governments in food distribution. The combining of environmental strategies, additional family incomes and possible renewable bio-energy constitutes a new, integrated and innovative approach to addressing the problems of depleted natural resources. This system is based on improving management of integrated environmental sustainability in rural area of the Sahel countries, and is in line with the relevant political initiatives in these countries.

The project will apply a multi-level methodology:

  • Promotion of demonstrative techniques designed to restore areas affected by land degradation and desertification.
  • Strengthening local capacities, knowledge and skills on Jatropha nursery and plantation management, processing, transformation and marketing of its derived products through training activities and specific studies.
  • Development of alternative and sustainable income-generating activities to benefit the local community, thus ensuring livelihood security.
  • Raising awareness among local and national institutions and organisations, as well as creating an international network of institutional and non-state actors in West African countries to improve the South-South exchange of the acquired knowledge.

The project is subdivided into six main phases:

  • Inception phase
  • Assessment of previous experiences and transferability to local context:
    • Execution of transferability study.
    • Awareness plan definition.
  • Education, training and capacity building:
    • Training of trainers on participatory approach techniques and facilitation skills;
    • Specific training activities relating to nursery management.
    • Specific training activities on planting management.
    • Training on production, use, commercialisation and marketing of Jatropha primary and secondary products.
  • Demonstrative action on the setting up of a local nursery and Jatropha plantation activities:
    • Nursery installation.
    • Nursery production.
    • Jatropha knowledge implementation.
    • Pre-plantation.
    • Plant management.
    • Utilisation of Jatropha primary and secondary products. 
  • Dissemination and awareness activities
  • Project conclusion


  • Jatropha nursery in production.
  • Jatropha plantations in the field.


  • Local officers, technicians and selected representatives of community-based groups (around 150 beneficiaries) trained in: i) participatory approach and skills; ii) nursery and planting management; iii) production, use and commercialisation of Jatropha primary and secondary products.
  • Skills and capacities of local beneficiaries in the use of Jatropha enhanced.
  • Alternative and sustainable, income-generating activities based on the processing of Jatropha primary and secondary products such as seeds, seedcakes, grease, soap, traditional medicine, lighting/cooking oil.
  • Women and youth empowered and their social conditions improved.
Grant: FED/2009/217074
Project duration: 36 months (from 29/10/2009 to 28/10/2012)- CLOSED
EC funding: EUR 633,201.18
Total budget: EUR 744,942.56
Project contact:

Prof. Giuseppe Enne
Instituto Sperimentale Italiano “Lazzaro Spallanzani” (ISILS)
Via Capolago n°16
20133 Milano
Tel: +39-02-7611.1101 / 7611.0935
Fax: +39-02-7611.1108
E-mail: giuseppe.enne [at]; monica.serrantoni [at]; dbellavite [at]

Jatropha curcas
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