On April 1st – 4rd 2009 the Costa Rican central pacific region hosted the Jatropha Harvest Experience Costa Rica 2009, a first of its kind event. This 4-day event is designed to educated attendees by verifying truths and dispelling myths about Jatropha Curcas, a native Central American tree commonly cited as one of the best candidates for future biodiesel production.

Jatropha Harvest Experience Costa Rica 2009 featured leaders in the biodiesel field with speakers representing private sector enterprises as well as governments and universities. In addition, a first of its kind hands-on workshop walked attendees through the entire Jatropha process at the Costa Rica Seed Company’s own 80 hectare (200 acre) plantation in Tarcoles, Costa Rica. The workshop began with a step-by-step tour through the planting, pruning, and harvesting of the Jatropha plant and concluded with demonstrations of the oil extracting and refining processes. Jatropha Harvest Experience Costa Rica 2009 brought together Jatropha producers, environmental engineers, scientific advisors, agronomists, refinery experts, investors, plantation owners and key governmental figures with the goal of advancing Jatropha as a reliable and renewable contributor to the global energy demands.

Jatropha Curcas, a native Central American plant, is an easily grown biofuel crop that has already shown great promise as a source of energy in countries like India and Brazil. As a non-food competitive crop that flourishes in tropical and subtropical areas, Jatropha is naturally resistant to drought and pests, and produces seeds containing up to 40% oil. These seeds, when crushed and processed, result in oil that can be used in a standard diesel engine. Further refinement of this oil with Jet A fuel has proven successful in aviation tests thus drawing great interest from both the commercial aviation and military industries as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels.

Jatropha Harvest Experience Costa Rica 2009, was held at the Marriot Los Sueños Ocean and Golf Resort, and featured speakers from Applied Research Associates, the University of Florida, CATIE (the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) among others. This event is sponsored and hosted by The Costa Rica Seed Company and United Biofuels of America.

For further information on Jatropha Harvest Experience Costa Rica 2009, email [email protected]

Antoine du Maurier