Following Haiti’s devastating earthquake, new methodologies for organic and economic growth quickly began to sprout. Supported by American bio-diesel company, Sirona Fuels and the Sirona Cares Foundation, Haitian farmers began working to cultivate Jatropha plants on unused lands to create a crop of fuel-worthy seeds.
Jatropha seeds are particularly significant, as they are rich in natural oil that can be pressed for biofuel, also emitting a seed-cake byproduct which can be used as a fertilizer on the same lands in which the plants were first grown. The biofuels and seed-cakes can be sold, bartered and traded at discounted rates to farmers for greater expansion of local land plots and groundwork, or used within homes for heat or to provide a more consistent power supply. The venture also brings new income to developing communities to dig wells for clean water and have greater access to local jobs.
The Sirona Cares Foundation deems the initiative a result of a “seed-to-fuel-to-family-prosperity-sustainable economy,” as it also facilitates micro-lending processes to farmers seeking to cultivate Jatropha crop fields. The Jatropha plant, popularly used for biofuel purposes in India and throughout Africa, can help to create a truly sustainable, cyclical system for new economic development throughout Haiti, relieving the price of imported fuels and dependence of diplomatic transport.