Jatropha plants grow and are cultivated worldwide, from Central America to Africa and Asia. The plant has been used in the past for soap production and traditional medicine, but nowadays is mostly used as live fence and source for biofuel.
Jatropha grows best the drier regions of the tropics, being very draught-resistant and it can endure long periods without rain.
Jatropha is well adapted to growing on nutrient poor or 'low potential' soils, and it helps improving the soil in structure, stability and nitrogen content. This makes the plant ideal for reforestation and anti-erosion purposes.
Used as a fence for animals, it helps farmers to protect their crop, whilst providing a new and steady source of income.
The grains contain up to 30% of oil. This oil can be used as biodiesel, without complex chemical treatments.