[permaculture] plants for producing oil for biodiesel use

Charles de Matas cdematas at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 26 12:33:04 EDT 2006

The plants most suitable for oil production in Africa may not be the most 
suitable in the U.S.  In the humid parts of Africa certainly oil palms are 
the first choice.  They will take a few years to start bearing, but yields 
of oil from oil palms are higher per hectare than any other crop.  The palms 
can be grown and harvested without mechanical equipment, and production can 
be done at a village scale.  Oil palms will grow on many different kinds of 
soils, some that I planted on my clay soils are doing quite well and they 
are very fire resistant.
   I don't know what would be the best oil crops for the drier parts of the 


<<Specifically, I want a plant that is fast growing (so that production can
start in a year or so) and that can grow in different areas of Africa as I
would like to help groups setup biodiesel projects there.

The area that I'm currently looking at has access to irrigation through bore
holes (although the water can be slightly salty).  Any thoughts or
suggestions on where I should start looking would be greatly appreciated!

Guyton Durnin
Rice University

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