SGB Inc, San Diego, has successfully developed a Jatropha hybrid, which has rapid time of maturity and high yielding capacity. The major barrier, concerned with Jatropha is its long time of maturation of about 5 years. The latest generation hybrids have been reduced to one to two years, which is remarkable.
SGB conducted pre-commercial trials with its top 10 hybrids, and the best performing hybrid being recognised, gave an equivalent of 300 gallons of oil per acre in year one, with a corresponding protein production of 0.6 metric tons which is 30% higher than that of yield from soy. The protein is of high quality and contains essential amino acids, comparable to soybean.
The underlying reason for early failures of Jatropha:
• Insufficient germplasm diversity that obstruct effective breeding and improvement of Jatropha,
• Lack of understanding and/ or implementation of the agronomic practices to unlock full potential of Jatropha
Finally, SGB is done with its necessary trials on this super breed, and is ready to commercialise. An investment of $40 million and 7 years of research has resulted in a viable alternative to soybean and palm as a sustainable source of oil and protein.