Identification of Factors Impeding the Spread of Jatropha Cultivation in the State of Chiapas, Mexico

Takayuki Ando, Atsushi Tsunekawa, Mitsuru Tsubo, Hajime Kobayashi


The state government of Chiapas in Mexico is promoting the cultivation of jatropha by farmers as a source of biofuel, with the first harvest expected in 2012. However, despite the fact that the planted jatropha has now reached the harvesting stage, no reports exist on the current status of jatropha cultivation in Chiapas or on issues related to cultivation. We accordingly conducted a study aimed at ascertaining the current status of jatropha cultivation and identifying factors impeding its spread. For the study, we conducted a questionnaire survey among 88 farmers of 7 villages located within 3 municipalities, and also interviewed them. Our study pointed to 2 key factors causing the abandonment of jatropha cultivation, namely the failure of farmers to receive ProArbol payments as financial assistance for cultivation, and damage caused to jatropha roots by gophers. Pest/disease outbreaks, lack of technical assistance, lack of trust for extension workers and distrust for the project were also obstacles to the spread of jatropha cultivation.

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