Jojoba, [Simmondsia chinensis (Link) Schneider] is a new oil-producing industrial crop that has attracted much attention in recent years. Jojoba oil is unique in nature. No other plant is known to produce oil like jojobas. It is used in the cosmetic, medical, pharmaceutical, food products, manufacturing, and automotive industries (as lubricant). And it is a renewable energy resource. It is remarkable to note that, in spite of the variability in size or where grown, each jojoba seed contains an average of 50% pure oil by volume. Jojoba is native to the semiarid regions of southern Arizona, southern California and northwestern Mexico. Now Jojoba is being cultivated in Israel and Rajasthan, India to provide a renewable source of unique high-quality oil. Much of the interest in jojoba worldwide is the result of the plant's ability to survive in a harsh desert environment. Jojoba can be grown as an oil-producing cash crop. Jojoba is very drought-resistant and can be grown on marginal lands without replacing any existing crops. Fully mature shrubs or trees can reach a height of 15 feet with a potential natural life span of 100 to 200 years depending on environmental conditions. For optimum production, the crop needs irrigation, care, and a good cultivar.
The arid lands of Rajasthan are all set to usher in a revolution in Indian agriculture, with planned large-scale cultivation of the exotic jojoba plant. Rajasthan government has allotted 110 hectare of wastelands including 70 hectare at Fatehpur in Sikar district and 40 hectare at Dhand in Jaipur district for jojoba plantation. Jojoba plantation project was formulated in 1995 for a period of five years, with a revised financial outlay of around 670000 US$ to be met by central assistance. Jojoba in the country is now being grown in an estimated area of about 500 hectare and the area is increasing every year. The production estimate for this plantation is 25 million tonne. About 90 per cent of the jojoba cultivation is in Rajasthan.
Our technocrats believe that jojoba oil shows a lot of promise as an alternative source of fuel. It releases a lot of energy when it burns. The driving force to find such fuel source stems from the need to find an alternative fuel to petroleum oil. In addition to this, the jojoba renewable nature is attractive and can produce less pollution. Jojoba oil appears to be promising, also with promising scope for cultivation in the relatively hot weather Considering Jojoba’s potential as an oilseed feedstock for biodiesel, CJP has honor to establish this untapped resource as alternative source for Bio- Diesel industry of future.
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Assistant Director Moringa, CJP
B-132, Sainik Basti, Churu-331001