Jatropha's a native forest shurb that thrives across lowland India. It's getting attention and being farmed now because it produces oily golf-ball-sized fruit that can be used to make biofuel. Today's "Wall Street Journal" explores the growing industry of growing jatropha.
India's not alone in the jatropha boom. Brazil's first jatropha processing plant goes into operation soon. American scientists are involved in the research into jatropha farming and genetics.
The picture of Jatropha fruits is from Jatrophaworld, an Indian website for a non-profit group promoting the cultivation of the plant. The jatropha story is one of rags to riches, or in this case from weed to biofuel wonder. Imagine running your car on dandelion juice.
Jatropha or not, India's rapidly growing economy needs all the energy it can get. India is a major energy user and importer. Today Nokia said it will make its Indian factory a global hub for exports. Also, Nokia soon expects India to overtake the U.S. as its second-largest handset market, behind only China.
With its need for energy, India's pursuing a nulcear energy pact with the U.S. That possible agreement has a tortured history in both countries. Reuters has an up-to-date look at the twists and turns.
While that agreement's hanging fire, Australia has agreed to export nuclear fuel to India, a major energy customer. India imports coal, peroleum and liquified natural gas from Australia.
I should note that India and Australia both ratified the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emission.