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JATROMED: Evaluation of the energy crop Jatropha curcas as a mean to promote renewable and sustainable energy for the Mediterranean region

JatroMed is a 4-year demonstration project involving five countries from the Mediterranean region: Greece (project coordinator), Italy, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria. Eight Jatropha curcas L. genotypes collected over the world have been established in depressed rural areas of the North African partner countries in order to introduce this crop and the profits from its cultivation to local farmers and population. The main scope of JatroMed is to reinforce and upgrade the natural and socioeconomic conditions of the target areas and to give local populations the opportunity to produce sustainable energy to cover their needs. This will be possible by meeting small famers and rural populations with the Jatropha crop and the use of biofuel produced from the Jatropha and its multuple derived products.
Its soymeal and any other organic residues could be used as fuel, fertilize, soil additives and for the production of biodiesel.

Moreover, the Jatropha could be used to prevent and control soil erosion, to recover marginal lands degraded in (semi)arid climates, without competing with subsistence crops.

Demonstration Countries: Egypte, Marocco, Algeria.

Project Consortium

- Agricultural University of Athens-Research Committee (AUA), Athena, GREECE (Coordinator) 
- Consiglio per la Ricerca e Sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Rome, ITALY (CRA-ING) 
- City of Scientific Research and Technological Applications, (SRTA-City), Alexandria, EGYPTE 
- Centre de Developpement de la Region de Tensift (CDRT), Marrakech, MAROCCO 
- Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables (CDER), Algiers, ALGERIA

Specific Objectives

-  Introduce the culture of Jatropha to rural population and to the different parts
- Enhance their knowledges in crop management and agronomical practices
- Select te featest genotypes for environment conditiions of the target regions
- Indentify genetically the examined genotypes
-  Resolve the problem of the mechnized harvesting
- Improve the enviroment and reuce gas emissions 
- Complete the socio-economic analyze for the reliability and the long-lasting of the Jatropha crop in each country 
- Transfer the know-how obtained during the project to target groups with the close implying of the participants
- Ensure the sustainability and the multiplication of Jatropha plantations

Demonstration fields

Four (4) hectars demonstration fields are implemented in Borg El Arab (Egypte), Essaouira (Maroc) et Adrar (Algérie). Eight (8) genotypes are gained through the world and are evaluated with diffecrent irrigation, fertelization and cutting treatments.

Results to date

CDER contributed in almost all the project, and the results to date are accorded to the following actions :

Activity 1. Project Management

- The International coordinator of the project : AUA, Greece 
- The local coordinator ensures the coordinations of the Algerian part of works while being the « Contact Person » of the project.  Project Management Board is composed of 058 persons (international coordinator + local coordinators)

Activity 2. Genotypes selection, Preparation of experimental field and 1st measurments

- This activity wonsists on gathering information on genotyopes of Jatropha accross the world, evaluate them and decide which one to put in which country.
- The decision was mainly based on performances, specific characteristics and socio-environmental conditions of each region. The genotypes attributed to Algeria are : Michoacán and Veracruz (non-toxic/Mexico), JCL Max3.0 (India) and GHN-D (Domenican Republic).

- Actions undertaken within this activity are: 
- Acquisition of selected genotypes 
-  Physico-chemical analize of the ground 
-  Meteorological parameters collection (T-°C (max – min), moisture, wind speed)

Activity 3. Culture, Production and Monitoring   
- This activity is the ehart of the project, it is driven in collaboration with the National Institute for Agronomical Research of Algeria (INRAA) within a collaboration convention signed for. The principal actions of this activities are led into the station of INRAA in Adrar :
-  Planting seeds in a nursery

Preparation of the nursery and seeds germination

-  Preparation of demonstration field

Putting the organic matter Preparation os the holes Floor leveling

- Implementing the irrigation system: the system is composed with a drop by drop distribution network feeding each plant. This network is fed by a pumping system equiped with filters and a fertelization curve.

Irrigation system Schema
Pumping system Coonecting and installation of the feeding network

- The transplantation and maintenance of plants

Maintenance and plants treatment

-  The evaluation of the adaptation of selected genotypes (growth parameters, biomass and oil output, plant architecture etc.) withing climate and soil conditions.
-  The evaluation of the performances of plants from different places of J. curcas in different agronomical practices and harvest management in target regions
-  Determine the featest genotypes for these countries and collect economic data (inputs/outputs) of relevant production
-  The potential use of the produced oil and wastes

Activity 4. Mechanized harvest

-  Learn more abour harvest problems
-  Identify and proceed to macanical modifications on the existant machines to adapt them to Jatropha
-  Evaluate and compare economic impacts of hand harvests and mechnized harvests

Activity 5. Economic and environmental Analyse

-  Analyse of production cost of Jatropha in each country according to the ground, economic and climate conditions and identify the key elements of costs.
-  Estimate transformation and transport costs . 
-  Consider the economical implications of mechanization (costs and advantages). 
-  Evaluate expected benefits from oils sell. And see how far this can replace fossile fuel ?
-  Proposition economically reliable? 
-  Analyses of Sensitivity : Explore and compare the different methods of production, economic performance of each genotype, with different scenarios.
-  Environmental Analyse: Directed toward the effects of the different inputs of crops in accordance qith the effects on enviroment. 
-  Examine the implications on the use on soil and compare it with the consumer products culture.
-  Environmental and economic analize will contribute ti elaborate propositions and optimal policies, to reach important economic impacts with the less of damages. And so, ensure the viability and sustainablity of cultures.

Activity 6. Dissemination and Exploitation of Results

- Dissemination and exploitation activities of results are varied. In addition of publication ( fliers, newsletter,…) and presentations in conferences, CDER participated and actively contributed if the activities of dissemination and organizes training seminars "training the trainers" for local officials and farmers of the target zones. The organization of an international workshop at Algeirs is also scheduled.
-  Contributing and participatiing in the implementation and the update of the project website (www.jatrmed.aua.gr
-  Contributing and printing the newsletters "1’, "2" et "3’ 
-  Elaborating and printing 1000 fliers among them 250 have been distributed at many occasions
-  Contributing and participating in many scientific events
-  Contribute to release scientific articles
-  Organisation of training seminars for managers and local farmers
-  Meeting and release with local media (radio)
-  Organisation of an international workshop at Algiers

Local Managers at the field of demonstration Transplantation of the plats by the participants
Meeting with farmers Farmers on the demonstration field
Interview with the local radio station (Adrar)
International Workshop of Algiers : Opening ceremony
InternationalWorkshop of Algiers : ceremony of Signature of a Memorendum of Understanding between CDER (Algeria) and AUA (Greece) in presence of the secretary of the GReek Ambassy in Algiers, Mr. Konstantinos Ntelikos.

DEMONSTRATION FIELD the demonstration field is composed if 4 blocs of one hectar each one (01 hectar per genotype)

Demonstration field Plant after a year

Plant treatments : Three (03) treatments are used in 08 combinations :
- TREATMENTS A1 and A2 : FertiIzation(each 15 days : A1 (urea), A2 (NPK 20/20/20) 
- TREATMENTS B1 and B2 : Irrigation (each 7 days) : B1 (4 l/h), B2 (8 l/h) 
- TREATMENTS C1 and C2 : Cutting: C1 (Cut shape ), C2 (Tree shape)

08 combinations of treatments ; a combination per parcel, with 3 repetions :

1 → A1-B1-C1 2 → A2-B1-C1 3 → A1-B2-C1 4 → A2-B2-C1
5 → A1-B1-C2 6 → A2-B1-C2 7 → A1-B2-C2 8 → A2-B2-C2

Measured parameters

During the action, climate data of each demonstration field are emasured, namely : air and soil temperature, rainfalls, moisture, wind speed, sunshine. Morphometrical data are made on six plants per parcel. The sic best plants usedn choosed from different parts of each parcel. A certain number of parameters specifying the performance of plants are measured twice a month. Collected data on plants growth (height, trunk diameter, leaf area, the number of branches, the number of flower, the number of fruits), the number of seeds per ha, the efficient use of water, the ratio of male and female flowers, period of flowering, maturation time, report of distribution of dry matter between the coat and the seeds, the size of seeds, the oil content in seeds, sub-products…. Besides, economic data are saved, as the initial investment (creation), the socts, as well as costs and the annual reccuring revenues for each country partner.

Basic data
- Project framework : EuropeAid/128320/C/ACT/Multi programme
- Project coordinator : Agricultural University of Athens (AUA), Grèce
- Reference : DCI/ENV/2009/13/12
- Contract : 2011/221037
- Total budget of the project : €1.817.496 Euro
- EC contribution : €1 164 791.00 Euro
- Project timing : 4 years / 2011-2015


International Coordinator
Dr. Eleni G. Papazoglou 
Agricultural University of Athens - AUA 
75 Iera Odos st., 11855, Athènes, Grèce 
Phone number. +30 210 5294315 
E-mail : elpapazo[at]aua.gr

Local Coordinator
Mr. Abdelkrim Sadi 
Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables – CDER, 
BP62. Route de l’Observatoire, 16340 Bouzaréah, Alger, Algérie 
Phone number. + 213 21 90 18 16 
E-mail : a.sadi[at]cder.dz

This document has been realized with the financial support of the European Union. The content of this publication is under the unique reponsibility of the Project JatroMed and could not be considered as reflecting the position of the European Union.

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