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The Miracle that Never Was: An Exploratory Study on the Propagation of Jatropha in Kenya and its Efect on Smallholders
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Jatropha plant was promoted to farmers in Kenya as a plant which would produce fuel while helping them out of poverty. The promoters of the plant created expectations among farmers and key decision-makers alike that the plant could grow anywhere and needed low maintenance. As farmers took up the crop, it bacame clear that the plant would not perform as expected, and that the expectations created were baseless.

This is an exploratory thesis based on a literature review. Part of the Jatropha Value Chain in Kenya is looked at in order to identify and present the different actors and their roles in this technical experiment. A multi-level Strategic Niche analysis is then done to analyze the spread of Jatropha activities in the country, and why a technological niche was not created. This is based mainly on an analysis of the landscape, the regimes, and the so-called three internal niche processes.

Three main conclusions are drawn. Firstly, the plant was introduced at a time when there was no legal and institutional ramework to allow the technological niche to develop. Secondly, there was no prior research and development on the plant in Kenya's agro-climatic conditions. Lastly, even if Kenyan Jatropha smallholders were to produce sufficient yields, the Value Chain in Kenya does not contain a well-developed market for their produce.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 40 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 173
Keyword [en]
Sustainable Development, Jatropha, biodiesel, Kenya, energy, Strategic Niche Management
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-213437OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-213437DiVA: diva2:682082
Subject / course
Sustainable development
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2013-05-29, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 11:00 (English)
Available from: 2013-12-23 Created: 2013-12-22 Last updated: 2013-12-23Bibliographically approved

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