By Raed Omari

AMMAN – An oil producing plant which can generate bio-fuel will be cultivated in the Kingdom on an experimental basis as part of a Jordanian-Brazilian partnership, an agriculture official said on Tuesday.

Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson Rula Mubeidin told The Jordan Times that the move was initiated by Brazilian Ambassador in Amman Fernando Jose Marroni de Abreu, during a meeting earlier this week with Minister of State and Minister of Agriculture Samir Habashneh.

“Jatropha”، a small tree or bush that belongs to the euphorbia family, derives its name from the Greek word “jatros” meaning doctor and “trophe” meaning food.

The oil is produced from the seeds of the Jatropha curcas. When Jatropha seeds are crushed, the resulting oil can be processed to produce a high-quality biodiesel that can be used in a standard diesel car, while the residue can also be processed and used as biomass feedstock to power electricity plants or used as fertiliser, according to web sources.

Mubeidin said the Brazilian envoy presented a briefing on his country’s expertise in producing bio-fuel from sugarcane and its usage in cars and power generation, explaining that this technology, if applied, would help in reducing Jordan’s dependence on petroleum products.

“The Brazilian diplomat suggested planting Jatropha in limited areas in the Kingdom as an experiment to check the compatibility of the climate factors,” Mubeidin said.

She added talks also covered ways to enhance trade exchange and cooperation in the field of scientific research between Jordan and Brazil.

“The ambassador was very interested in Habashneh’s proposal to export Jordanian olive oil and dates to Brazil, saying he will discuss the issue with his government,” Mubeidin noted.