Phase I (Accomplished)
The actual project planning began in December 2007
-Convinced 5 self help group leaders to participate in our project
-Purchased 1000 seedlings from Labland Biotechs at a discount price of 6 rupees ($0.12)/seedling
-With the help of Parivarthana, the team distributed the seedlings to the 5 self help group leaders
-Sent field workers of Parivarthana and farmer leaders to Labland Biotechs for training on the agronomic practices of Jatropha cultivation.
In our recent tripů
-Organized a Labland Biotechs facility tour for farmers and SHG members from three different villages
-Demonstrated biofuel extraction and conversion into biodiesel of 100 kg of dried Jatropha seeds
-Took farmers to Labland's farm to see trial Jatropha plantation
-Distributed biofuel to Parivarthana to be given to SHG's
-Conducted a Q&A Session between botanists, plant pathologists of Labland Biotechs, Project Jatropha team leaders, a biodiesel consultant and the farmers
-Revisited two villages: Kirijagi and Thipalapura
-Met with hundreds of farmers and self-help group members, explained our mission to them, and convinced more than 50 of them to be in our project
-Conducted interviews with Mr. Rajegowda, secretary of Parivarthana,Dr. Sudheer Shetty and Dr. Geetaa Singh, Mr. Gopalakrishnan of Labland Biotechs to discuss feasibility of Phase II of the project
-Visited the fields of farmers doing our project (Project Site); showed said fields to other interested SHG members
-Visited Tattekere and Shastri high schools in Hunsur area; explained our mission to them and Shastri high school agreed to collaborate
-Held a large press conference in Mysore and a International Rotary Club presentation in Hunsur
-Visited Central Tobacco Research Institute and presented our project to the principal scientist and head of plant pathology Dr. M. M. Shenoi, who approved the project plan of Phase II.
-Met S. Gopalakrishnan, an All India Biodiesel Consultant who demonstrated the entire extraction and conversion of Jatropha oil at Labland Biotechs and explained the advantages of Jatropha as a biofuel to the farmers.
-The farmers used the extracted oil in their irrigation pumps and have given very positive feedback.
In a farmer's own words,
"Smoke emission is very less compared to regular diesel. The smoke smells pleasant. The pump set ran smoothly and efficiently."
Demonstration of successful usage of the extracted biofuel
This marks the completion of Phase I of Project Jatropha. For Phase II, Callie Roberts, who is also an environmental enthusiast, has joined our group. She has contacted local middle schools for fund raising and collaboration purposes. To do so, she has done a write up of the project and took a leadership role in making this website.