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Jatropha Curcas or Ratanjot, Van Erand, Moghal Erand offers great hope of being developed as a rich source of Biodiesel. It is very profitable crop. It can be cultivate in stony, gradient sandy oil and in the land of tiny deepness. The oil extracted from the seeds of Jatropha is known as Biodiesel. The oil extracted from the seeds is non-edible and is used in making soaps, cosmetics, colors, candles and wool. The oil cake is used in making plastics and synthetic fibers. Jatropha is rich in medicinal properties and is used in treatment of skin-diseases, paralysis, toothache, stomachache etc. Its mixture with cow urine is used as a Bio-Insecticide.
The project is being implemented in conjunction with Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investments Holdings, Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani Copper Mines.
The goal is to utilize Jatropha for the revegetation of mine wastelands or damp sites and/or for biofuel production.
The main solid mine wastes on the Copperbelt are the waste rocks, tailings and slag. Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM – IH),
Many tailings dumps pose severe dust problems due to wind erosion on the surfaces, as well as gulley erosion on the slopes. Wind erosion is evident from the amounts of dust blown by the winds. Gulley erosion is evident from the bare heavily gullied slopes that have little or no vegetation cover.
While Zambia is short of petroleum reserves, it has enough arable land as well as good climatic conditions with adequate rainfall in many parts of the country. However, the food crop and non-edible oil crop land competition entails that developing countries such as Zambia need to exploit other land areas for the production of biodiesel crops. These project activities therefore are aimed at
re-vegetating the mine dump sites using Jatropha plants.
Production of Pre-Basic Potato Seed (Mini-Tubers) Through Tissue Culture, for the Zambia Seed Company Limited
Sustainable use of underutilized genetic resources programme supplies ZAMSEED virus free pre-basic Irish potato mini-tubers upon request. We are currently conserving twelve varieties of Irish potatoes in an in-vitro system.
Micropropagation of Various Crop Plants
Micropropagation protocols are available for various crop plants. These include bananas, cassava, sweet potatoes, artemisia, sugar-cane and pineapples.
The institute is located on three Centers;
the headquarters situated along the Lusaka International Airport Road, Animal Science Research Centre located in Chilanga and the Tree Improvement Research Centre in Kitwe.