Africans embrace croton as new biofuels supercrop

In Central Africa, CNN is reporting on the promise of croton as an energy-oriented oilseed crop. “ The Croton megalocarpus tree is common throughout much of East and Central Africa, and until now it has been used for little more than firewood,” the news service reports. The tree’s nuts contain high concentrations of oil and protein and have been increasingly embraced in Africa, following the failures associated with jatropha deployment and the controversy swirling over palm oil relating to deforestation concerns.

We reported last week that Eco Fuels Kenya is expanding production of croton nut for biodiesel production and other byproducts such as animal feed and briquettes with the introduction of a 500ha plantation. So far the company has relied on supplies from farmers collecting seeds from existing tress, processing up to 1,000 metric tons of seeds this year, double that of 2015. But to continue growing, the plantation is required. The company also plans to build up to five facilities around the country and eventually expand into Tanzania.

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