Ghana’s Jatropha Conundrum – More Questions than Answers
Ghana is becoming the Jatropha centre in Africa south of the Sahara. The attraction which the country has as a welcoming place for investors interested in the wonder plant, Jatropha which hopefully, would be the world’s answer to alternative energy sources is resonating across the globe even in such difficult times when the entire globe is being buffeted by an economic crisis. Despite the economic crisis, the investors in Jatropha and other biofuel crops are trooping into Ghana pledging investments in tens of millions of dollars.
… One biofuels company Gold Star Farms claims on its website that the company plants a “specific strain of Jatropha that takes one year before they bear fruit and two years before they are producing a full yield.” One of the company’s executives, Mr. Jack Holden has said that it has commitments from farmers to grow the crop on approximately five million acres of land in Ghana. The company, he added, plans to begin producing biodiesel at its facility in Nkawkaw, in the Eastern region of Ghana, in 2009.
He said these sometime last year after Gold Star Biofuels, a subsidiary of Ghana based Gold Star Farms Ltd, had formed a joint venture with Aiken, S.C.-based USFuelTech LLC, a provider of turnkey modular biodiesel production facilities, to design and build small biodiesel plants in Chile that will use locally cultivated Jatropha as a feedstock. READ MORE