The main objective of the project is an enhanced information and knowledge basis upon which sustainable and pro-poor development strategies and policies on biofuel production can be designed and implemented by development partners and governments in both the North and the South. A focus on Jatropha curcas was chosen, as this feedstock is considered to have high potentials in marginal areas, and because a strong increase of its production is expected in Eastern Africa. The project intends to assess opportunities and threats of increasing Jatropha production, appraise its social and environmental impacts, and develop decision-support tools for sustainable bioenergy production in Eastern Africa. In order to achieve these goals, four complementary work packages will be implemented by the project partner institutions:
1. Crop growth and processing: Assessment of sustainable bioenergy production potentials and processing of Jatropha biomass in different production systems and under different environmental and cultural settings
2. Impacts of biofuel production: Case-study based research on the socio-economic and environmental impacts of biofuel production in the local context
3. Global policy, trade and certification: Analysis of the influence of external socio-political and economic decision-making processes on the regional and local biofuel production processes in Eastern Africa and Central America
4. Potentials of biofuel in Eastern Africa: Up-scaling of finding from the three other work packages in view of providing relevant decision-making and planning tools at the national and regional levels in Eastern Africa.