KOULIKORO, Mali ??? When Suleiman Diarra Banani???s brother said 
that the poisonous black seeds dropping from the seemingly 
worthless weed that had grown around his family farm for decades 
could be used to run a generator, or even a car, Mr. Banani did 
not believe him. When he suggested that they intersperse the 
plant, until now used as a natural fence between rows of their 
regular crops ??? edible millet, peanuts, corn and beans ??? he 
thought his older brother, Dadjo, was crazy.

Jatropha grows in places like Koulikoro with little rainfall.
???I thought it was a plant for old ladies to make soap,??? he 

But now that a plant called jatropha is being hailed by scientists 
and policy makers as a potentially ideal source of biofuel, a 
plant that can grow in marginal soil or beside food crops, that 
does not require a lot of fertilizer and yields many times as much 
biofuel per acre planted as corn and many other potential 
biofuels. By planting a row of jatropha for every seven rows of 
regular crops, Mr. Banani could double his income on the field in 
the first year and lose none of his usual yield from his field.

Jason M. Evans, Ph.D.
Postdoctorate Research Associate
School of Forest Resources and Conservation
(352) 466-4549 - office
(352) 328-1199 - cell

BioEnergy and Sustainable Technology Society