Jatropha Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative
PfD’s USDA-funded JANI (Jatropha Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative) provided a wide range of agricultural skills trainings and opportunities for rural communities during its five-year run, which ended in 2013. Through this $7 million Food For Progress initiative, PfD expanded the cultivation and processing of Jatropha curcus in 18 districts of eight regions in the North, Central and Lake Zones of Tanzania. Jatropha is a renewable energy source that can be processed into cooking oil and into pellet fuel for new, locally manufactured, clean-burning cookstoves, known as Jiko Bomba stoves, which PfD developed and marketed in cooperation with local manufacturers. Improving the availability of clean-burning fuel and stoves not only reduces the need for families to cut wood from Tanzania’s depleted forests: cleaner burning fuels also improve indoor air quality, the leading cause of respiratory illness in women and children in sub-Saharan Africa. Jatropha also serves as a valuable hedgerow for family enclosures, and jatropha-oil can be made into soap.
Through PfD’s signature integrated programming approach—involving agricultural extension, nutrition education, livestock vaccinations, enterprise development, and creating market linkages—JANI improved vulnerable agricultural communities’ food security by achieving the following core objectives in Tanzania:
- Diversifying and increasing household income with jatropha cultivation through training in the cultivation and processing of jatropha and by creating market linkages between farmers and buyers of jatropha seed and oil.
- Strengthening local capacity to promote jatropha by strengthening capacities of local extension agents, implementing entities and local outreach organisations working with PfD to promote cultivation, processing and sale of jatropha oil with smallholder farmers.
- Improving food security and nutrition for jatropha farming households through community nutrition education campaigns and technical assistance in household food production.
Through collaboration with 13 local partners, PfD trained over 42,000 farmers in Jatropha cultivation and processing, distributed over 1 million jatropha seedlings, and sold no less than 59 tons of jatropha seed. Demand for jatropha pellets for improved cookstoves now exceeds supply.