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  Geotimes - December 2007 - New biofuel on the rise in Mali

Energy and Resources
New biofuel on the rise in Mali

Farmers in Mali have found a new use for a ubiquitous black-seeded weed called jatropha: It is a biofuel stock, which they can sell on the world market, thanks to investments from companies such as BP and British biofuels giant D1 Oils, according to a Sept. 9 article in The New York Times. Better still, the weed is extremely resilient and can grow in rocky and poor soils, allowing farmers to continue to grow their corn, peanuts and other crops on the good soils while growing jatropha on otherwise infertile areas, thus increasing the farmers’ productivity.

Other countries, such as India, China, the Philippines and Malaysia, are also growing huge plantations of jatropha, where they plan to export the biofuel and hope that the plant will help them to become energy independent, the Times reported. In Mali, however, the focus is more local, where officials intend to use biofuels made from the plant to provide electricity to local residents and to improve the standard of living in the impoverished nation.

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