–(e-mail: energy@upi. Despite the positive reviews, however, some have expressed concern about investing money in a country like Haiti where political upheaval is not uncommon, stability requires the assistance of international peacekeepers, and corruption is endemic.Hoping to convince Haitians of the economic and environmental benefits of abandoning charcoal in favor of jatropha, a delegation from the Brazilian Association of Jatropha Growers and Haitian businessmen agreed to fund a pilot project in Haiti to demonstrate how the plant could be cultivated and become the country’s leading product for domestic use.”Others are decidedly less pessimistic about Haiti’s chances of improving, at least when it comes to finding an alternative energy source to charcoal. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice provided an outline for pilot projects promoting alternative energy in Central America and the Caribbean, including Haiti. Rice’s remarks followed the March 2007 memorandum of understanding between Brazil and the United States “toward the development of affordable, clean, and sustainable energy sources” in the Western Hemisphere. Once planted, jatropha needs little moisture and can thrive for up to 50 years, even in poor soil conditions. In comparison, soybeans used to make biofuels yield less than 1 ton per hectare planted. With few reliable sources of fuel for cooking and cleaning, most people rely on charcoal made from local trees to heat water for cooking.. Livestock and other animals won’t eat jatropha after it is three months old, and the plant begins bearing the seeds needed to make fuel after nine months, yielding anywhere between 6 and 12 tons of fuel per hectare planted.In June, at a regional summit in Panama, U. Erosion coupled with pollution has also muddied the once-fruitful fishing waters of Haiti, forcing fishermen to cast their nets farther out to sea..S. “We seek to promote the democratization of energy in the Americas, increasing the number of energy suppliers, expanding the market and reducing supply disruption,” said Rice at the Organization of American States summit.But charcoal is a necessity of living in Haiti where most people live on less than $1 a day and public utilities are unreliable and far from pervasive. and you’ll never get it without taking a risk.MIAMI, Oct. Its use, however, has left the country’s once-lush countryside damaged.
“It’s the chicken and the egg problem,” noted Peter Hakim, president of the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue. Forman noted that the Haitian members of the government were keen to see jatropha take off, particularly President Rene Preval, who before assuming office was an agronomist.Daily rainstorms during the summer hurricane season often lead to flash-flooding and the dumping of massive amounts of silt and stones into the country’s streams and rivers, blocking water sources.Brazil, already a world leader in sugar-based ethanol production, is also leading a global effort to promote jatropha in poor nations with few natural resources.com). “They (the Brazilians) have a wealth of experience in the production of biofuels,” Johanna Mendelson Forman, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic & International Studies who attended last week’s meeting, told United Press International Tuesday.
The fuel of choice promoted at a recent meeting among potential investors in Port-au-Prince is the jatropha curcas, a hearty seed-bearing plant that already flourishes in Haiti’s soil, eroded motorcycle bearing manufacturers by charcoal use. “If you never do anything in the country (Haiti) to address the problem of stability, then you won’t have stability . 31 (UPI) — Brazilian and Haitian investors appear keen to jump-start Haiti’s efforts to produce alternative biofuels as a substitute for charcoal, the country’s leading domestic fuel that has been blamed for widespread deforestation over the past several decades