Project Summary

This project aims to help poor villagers develop alternative ways of creating a livelihood by harvesting inedible oil bearing seeds, particularly Jatropha seeds (see photo). The project started in February 2008 in Partnership with Group of helping Hands – Nepal (SAHAS) in Okhaldhunga district in East Nepal. Seeds will be harvested from existing Jatropha plants but the project will also have a component that encourages high yielding hybrid varieties of Jatropha to be planted. A cooperative will be set-up to process these seeds and expel the oil. The jatropha oil will then be used as a diesel replacement and will hence reduce the need to transport an expensive fossil fuel into the hills of Nepal. The final component of the project is to create a guaranteed local market for this fuel by converting one or more of the generators at Okhaldunga Community Hospital to run on this bio-fuel – thus saving money.

Project Objectives

  1. To enable poor communities living close to Okhaldunga Community Hospital to develop new and secure livelihood options
  2. To reduce operating costs and reliance on external diesel imports at Okhaldhunga Community Hospital.
  3. To encourage entrepreneurs to develop similar and diverse potential uses of inedible oils, benefiting poor communities by developing new and secure livelihood options.

Long-term, in case this approach can be scaled up:

  1. Local, rural economies produce their own energy and use it for productive purposes, in the process preserving the environment by:
    • Reducing soil erosion through planting oil-bearing plants on marginal and eroding land.
    • Replacing a non-sustainable imported mineral diesel oil with a locally produced sustainable bio-fuel.
    • Empowering the local communities to manage the plantation of jatropha and to produce the oil from jatropha-seed.
    • Increasing the productivity of community forests by allowing oil-bearing seeds to be harvested, thus increasing the sustainability of these forests.
    • Using waste land, public land and community forest land for jatropha plantation.
    • Forming a cooperative of jatropha-oil producers from the area, so that sustainability of the project could insured.
  2. To disseminate the findings of the project to allow replication and more wide-scale implementation.

Jatropha document in Nepali

Jatropha seed advert in Nepali