Some 80 million of the jatropha plants are to be planted by the forest department in wasteland areas, according to the report by the Indo-Asian News Service. Jatropha can thrive under a variety of geo-climatic conditions, has a low gestation period and a high seed-yield.
“In a bid to inspire small farmers for mass cultivation of jatropha, the government has decided to provide 500 jatropha saplings free of cost to farmers interested to cultivate it and 50 paise per sapling will be charged for above 500 saplings,” the [unnamed] official said.
The state of Chhattisgarh plans to earn Rs.40 billion (US$895 million) annually by selling seeds after 2010. It has advised the central government to introduce a national biofuel policy and provide a massive grant to states working on a long-term policy to emerge as biofuel self-reliant.