05 Jatropha Seed Pre-treatment

Implemented by: Rogério Jamice, IIAM

Main findings: None of the tested seed pre-treatment increased the germination rate. The three accessions showed similar germination rates. The low germination rate that was initially observed must therefore be attributed to other factors like storage conditions or age of seeds. This is indirectly supported by the fact that since this trial new seed batches have shown high germination rates.

The initial planting of Jatropha curcas in Mozambique suffered from low germination rate. This trial was designed to test if seed pre-treatment increase the germination rates.

More than 30 potential suppliers were identified but only the following seeds were available during the period covered in this report:

  1. Jatropha curcas from Oregon, Guatemala obtained by FACT;
  2. Jatropha curcas from Environtrade in Gorongosa collected from old trees;
  3. Jatropha curcas from ADPP in Bilibize collected from old trees;
The seeds were planted in polyethylene bags in the research nursery outside Sussundenga town.

The treatments were:
  1. Removal of the epidermis.
  2. Immersion in water 48 hours.
  3. Immersion in water 24 hours.
  4. Control: no pre-treatment
The results showed that pretreatment or accessions did not affect germination rate in statistically significant ways. The low germination rate that was common around the time the trial was designed must therefore be attributed to other factors.

Since the trial it has been observed that the germination rate has increased. The low germination rate must therefore have been caused by factors like age, quality and storage of the seeds first imported into the country. It is not known how old the seeds were or how they were stored. The germination rate of Jatropha seeds is known to drop rapidly when seeds are more than one year old.

The results have been written up in Portuguese and presented at a workshop in Chimoio and published in the National Newsletter from IIAM.

A Power Point presentation of the results is provided here.
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Publication of results from Jatropha seed pre-treatment trial undertaken at Sussundenga.   3579k v. 5 9 Nov 2010, 07:39 Banana hill Consultants
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Jamice Rogerio: Presentation of seed treatment trial   165k v. 5 9 Nov 2010, 07:40 Banana hill Consultants