Economic prospects of jatropha production : a case of smallholder farmers in Arumeru district, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


The study was carried out to investigate the production potential for oil crop called jatropha (Jatropha curcas) in Arumeru district. A total of 111 farmers were randomly selected for interview. The study involve estimates of profitability of jatropha farming compared with maize farming, investigating household factors that influence adoption of recommended jatropha cultivation practices and identify opportunities and challenges for the development of jatropha industry in Tanzania. The data were collected from primary and secondary sources. The tools of analysis used include descriptive statistics, logistic regression and cost benefit analysis. A binary logistic regression employed to test the influence of household factors on the adoption of recommended cultivation practices in the study area. The cost benefit analysis used to estimate relative profitability of jatropha enterprise against maize enterprise. Survey results show that average seed yield per jatropha tree was 2 kg for the 1 st harvest and 1 000 kg for 1 ha of maize field. The BCR of 1.76, NPV of TZS 55 199 and IRR of 58% were obtained when jatropha enterprise was discounted at 20%. Results show that BCR of 1.06, NPV of TZS 34 713 and IRR of 27% were obtained when maize enterprise was discounted at 20%. The logistic regression showed that household factors such as education, land availability and extension services influence farmer’s adoption significantly at p < 0.05 level. The results show that jatropha production opportunities include rural income generation, domestic energy security, utilization of waste lands, employment opportunities whereas the challenges include land availability and food security. The study concluded that jatropha production was found to be profitable compared to maize production. Furthermore, the study recommends that Tanzania government needs to review its role iniii promoting jatropha industry through technology development. Secondly, non- governmental institutions should support Government’s efforts in promoting jatropha crop.



Jatropha, Oil crop production, Jatropha curcas, Arumeru district


Tweve A.I. (2009). Economic prospects of jatropha production : a case of smallholder farmers in Arumeru district, Tanzania. Morogoro: Sokoine university of agriculture.