JARID-JAtropha for Rural Indian Development Project

April 25, 2007

MIT-Ideas project developmental trip-01

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For clear picture,you can click on the snaps and on the links below

5)Interaction with Mr.Kandasamy in his farms 6)Intercropping in Mr.Kandassmy farms 7)Picture on intercropping8)Interaction with Doctor in his farms

9)Chilli as intercropping in Doctor farms10)Harvestable seeds11)Insects on Jatropha leaves

1) Train journey to Virudhunagar with Mr.Sabapathi

2)Interaction with Dr.Subramaniyan

3)Nursery in his farms

4)Diseased Jatropha leave

5)Difference between organically grown and an ordinary Jatropha shrub(Right:ordinary,Left:Organically grown)

As per the suggesstion of Dr.Subramaniyan  my self and  Mr.Natana Sabapathi have taken up this field trip to Virudhunagar and its surroundings.

Friday(30 March) evening,we started our journey form Chennai Egmore station at around 10.pm and reached Madurai station around  6 am  (31,March). 31march was observed as State level strike .So it was bit difficult for us to move further on our destination. We somehow able to catch a Auto and reached Virudhunagar where Dr.Subramaniyan’s head office is located.

We have taken bath and break-fast in his office.There was already one group of students (Final B.sc., Agriculture) from Annamalai University ( http://annamalaiuniversity.ac.in/  ) who were there to explore Jatropha as a part of their final year EDP (Entrepreneurship Development Programme).We had discussion with them about Jatropha and its feasibility..Dr.Subramaniyan screened some vidoes on Aloe vera and other economically importance crops in his office.

Afternoon,we reached a village- Moolipatti – 10 km distance from DR.subraniyan’s office.

1)Field-01-Mr.Kandasamy:31 March2007:

There we met a farmer Mr.Kandasamy who cultivated Jatropha in 5 acres(cultivable land).When Mr.Kandasamy started his Jatropha cultivation in 2 acres on an experimental basis 2 years back, people laughed at him as it was a new crop which was initally considered as a weed. Now he gets visitors/researchers around the world to his farm.Last month there was some visitors from USA.He has intercropped Jatropha with Vinca Rosea( whos common name is PERIWINKLE / MADAGASCAR PERIWINKLE / SADABAHAR-medicinal plant ) which he harvests two times a year. He sells the leaves of V.rosea and one more inter-crop (Avoori) for Rs.18/kg.He waters Jatropha once a week.

He has planted 1500 Jatropha saplings(seedling raised ) per acre out of which 100 saplings gone waste in the initial two months.There is no fertiliser input till now.His major concern is a green colour insect which always stick to the seeds.He thinks it consumes the oil.But some of us feel that it helps in the cross-pollination.

The main reasons for taking Jatropha cultivation rather than other native crops(cotton,ground nut,sun flower ,..) of that land according to Mr.Kandasami are 1)water scarcity,2) non-availability of labours.

He is unsure about the amount of yield of Jatropha in his farm.He is not able to express in terms of number.He says he is not happy but satisfied with the yield.

We also able to meet and interact with another farmer Mr.Chinnasamy who is  a friend of Mr.Kandasamy.

Lesson learned:

Irrigation, prunning and maintainance processes are necessary for economical yield.

Filed-02-Dr.Sureshkumar farms: 01 APRIL 2007

The next day we joined with the Agricultural students of Annamalai University to visit Paramakudi which was around 3 hour journey from Virdudhu nagar.

We met Dr.Sundararajan  who is a professional doctor and also a avid and very rich farmer,former M.L.A.,. I was able to read some of his articles about Jatropha last year in some local magazines.He is very popular in that area for his Jatropha farms.He has around 40 ha of land in which he has cultivated Jatropha in 35 acres.

Chilli,Aloe vera,Ladies finger,Tomoto,Mango, are some of his intercrops.He uses neem oil ,if he finds any disease in Jatropha.He sells the seedlings for Rs.3 for the cultivation.

He has experimented Jatropha in one acre in 2003 after which he expanded the cultivation.He constantly supplies Jatropha seeds to TNAU ( www.tnau.ac.in ) and other agencies,research groups…But he never tells about the yield of Jatropha as he says “Everything is ex perimenal basis,so I never worried about the yield or cost involved in it” and indirectly at one point he accepts his failure.But  he is keep expanding the Jatropha cultivation and keen in establishing a extraction unit in his locality for which he got the permission and guidence of TNAU and other governmental organizations.

He runs many business.His servants never maintain any crops properly and these are the visible factors for his failure.But he still trust that Jatropha will   give a good future for his locality.He is very frindly.

Lessons learnt:  

Irrigation, prunning and maintainance processes are necessary for economical yield.

It was planned to visit  a Trans-estrification unit and Aloe vera processing unit in that lacality.But due to time constraints,we were unable to make it.

On sunday night (01April ),we started our jouney from Virudhu nagar to Chennai.



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JARID was qualified for Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT)-Ideas final  event and to receive $ 300 ($ 1000) project development fund from Ideas. (www.web.mit.edu/ideas ).

But due to our personal commitments , We were not able to represent the JaRID at  finals.

We thank  Ideas team and all our MIT team members for their support and help.

Bryan Wong MIT student Cambridge, MA Bryan Wong is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at MIT. He has extensive experience in the computational analysis of chemical reactions and combustion-relevant processes.
Bryan has also made important contributions with Star-P, a spinoff company started at MIT. His work with Star-P has resulted in several press releases in Forbes Magazine, HPCwire, and Desktop Engineering.
Bryan will be responsible for the trans-estrification unit, and his experience with Star-P will help this team to obtain the necessary publicity and funding.


Daniel Klein-Marcuschamer


MIT student

Cambridge, MA

Daniel Klein-Marcuschamer is a second year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He is a part of the Biodiesel@MIT student group which has been promoting the construction of a biodiesel processing plant to offset part of the energy requirements of the Institute. He has been active in the student government of the Chemical Engineering department and in the Sidney-Pacific graduate dorm. He is a columnist for the graduate newsletter and contributes to the Tech (MIT Newspaper). He has also been exposed to national and international academic competitions (National and International Chemistry Olympiad, Bangkok, Thailand, 1999). He will also be responsible for the trans-estrification reaction and machinery. His experience in Biodiesel@MIT will be very helpful for the JARID project.


Matthew Albrecht


MIT student

Cambridge, MA

  Matthew Albrecht is a candidate for an MBA degree (Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program) in June 2008. He is currently the President of the Energy & Environment Club and Massachusetts Energy Trek Founder which has organized 18 students to visit 10 energy-related companies in over three days. He is the Biodiesel@MIT Project team lead which has focused on developing a biodiesel processing system for MIT. Recently, the Biodiesel@MIT team was recognized as a GE/MTV Ecoimagination Challenge Finalist with the Biodiesel@MIT business plan selected within top 10 of 100+ entries. Matthew has contributed to LIFTPORT ENERGY, a wind energy start-up in Cambridge, MA. For his summer internship in 2006, he developed business plans in five areas of the wind industry including turbine site assessment, hydrogen conversion, small and medium turbine development, and wind energy education. He subsequently led new market research and proposed recommendations based on his findings. Matthew is also the MFS International, Marketing & Data Coordinator. His business and entrepreneurship skills with Biodiesel@MIT will add significant experience to the JARID team. He will be managing all the sections of this project.


Dhiman Bhattacharjee


MIT student

Cambridge, MA

Dhiman Bhattacharjee is currently attending the MIT Sloan School of Management where he is part of the Systems Design and Management program. He has multiple years of experience in leading engineering teams to build innovative products. Prior to Sloan, Dhiman developed financial software products for Lycos. He will be responsible for operations, sales, and marketing.


Federico Flom


Boston University student

Boston, MA

Federico Flom is a graduate student in the Boston University Entrepreneurship Program. Last year he developed a full business plan for biodiesel production in
Argentina using soybean oils as the basic feedstock. He had also studied the possibilites of using alternative plantations such as Jatropha or Canola for biodiesel fuels. Prior to his work in biodiesel technology, his experience has been focused in finance. He will be responsible for the cultivation and operation of Jatropha plants. His entrepreneurship skills and business experiences will also support the JARID team.


A. K. Ravishankar


SRM University student

Chennai, India

A. K. Ravishankar is pursuing his final yearinthe M.sc Biotechnology program at SRM University in Chennai, India. He has great passion for Jatropha-based Biodiesel and entrepreneurship. He has attended 4 entrepreneurship workshops and is currently enrolled in an entrepreneurhip course taught by MARS, Canada. A. K. Ravishankar is also a student of the science journalism course conducted by the government of
India. During his undergraduate years, he participated in the IIT-K and TATA-Mumbai Biodiesel business plan competitions and won second place in the IITM-Genesis (2007) competition. In his spare time, he is also an active member of Ivil and GRID where he is working for social upliftment. A. K. Ravishankar’s responsibilities will include plant cultivation, public relations, and marketing.


L. Natana Sabapathy


IIT-M project associate

Chennai, India

L. Natana Sabapathy holds a master’s degree in social studies from the Madras School of Social Work and is currently a Project associate at IITM-RuTag (Rural Technology activation group). He has worked in the Social Development Centre at MSS for one year and has three years of experience working with the IIT-M-RuTag Department of Social Studies. L. Natana is currently working on two major projects – the Technology Innovation and Rural Participation (TRIP) and the RuTag project for rural Indian Development where he was working in the execution team and also in field work..He is the co-founder for I-Vil (IIT’s for Villages) – an organization run by IIT-M students to identify and solve rural development problems. L. Natana is also an IITM-Genesis (2007) runner-up team member. L. Natana’s reponsibilities will include public relations and marketing. His passion and experience in rural development will be extremely helpful in defining the goals of the JARID project.


Gopal Satheesh Kumar


IIT-M research scholar

Chennai, India

Gopal Satheesh Kumar holds a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering, a M.E. in Manufacturing Technology, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the field of robotics at IIT Madras. He is actively involved with IViL (IIT for Villages) and the Science Promotion Activities (SPA) for school children – a program dedicated to teach basic science concepts to 6th-8th grade school students. Gopal Satheesh helped coordinate the installation of food stalls by Women SHGs (Self Help Groups) in the Natham village, providing them alternate employment opportunities. His entrepreneurship team won third place in the GENESIS 2007 competition. Gopal Satheesh’s responsibilities will include research and development within JARID. His extensive experience in research and passion in social upliftment will be valuable to the JARID team.


S. Praveen Kumar


IIT-M student

Chennai, India

S. Praveen Kumar is an undergraduate student at the Indian Institute of Technology
Madras in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is presently finishing a project in the field of theoretical nuclear physics at the SK Institute of Higher Studies under Prof. G. Shanmugam. He has been working with GRID (Group for Rural Indian Development), a group founded by him to work for rural development. He is also a member of IViL (IIT for Villages), a student body in IIT Madras. S. Praveen is also one of the IITM-Genesis (2007) runner-up team members. His responsibilities will include production and financial management in JARID.


Anirudh Vij


IIT-M student

Chennai, India

Anirudh Vij is an undergraduate student at the Indian Institute of Technology
Madras in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He is an IITM-Genesis (2007) runner-up team member. He has experience in finance and marketing and will help the JARID team with accounting and budget proposals.


Arbind Kumar Mishra


IIT-M student

Chennai, India

Arbind Kumar Mishra is an undergraduate student at the Indian Institute of Technology
Madras in the Department of Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture. He was also part of the IIT-M-Genesis (2007) runner-up team. Arbind Kumar will be instrumental in drafting budgets for the production process.


Kanchana Ravichandran


Community partner

Chennai, India

Kanchana Ravichandran is truly a multifaceted personality. She has experience as a copywriter, teacher, scriptwriter, proofreader, and content developer. She has the distinction of preparing the Terra Nova Test series in English from Grade 1 to Grade 12, which is still used by all the american schools in
India. Kanchana also interacts with the Indian government and leads innovative projects in education and social development. She is the mentor of the IITM-Genesis runner-up team. Currently Kanchana is the business development executive for OneRoof Services Pvt. Ltd where her main focus is to secure jobs for the unemployed rural youth. She is also the Tamil Nadu coordinator for the Youth Employment Summit, which focuses on creating and generating job opportunities for unemployed underprivileged youth. She has been a consultant for NGO’s throughout
Chennai, India. She will be extremely helpful to JARID for obtaining government assistance, interacting with the rural community, and providing a link to public resources. She is the designated mentor for the JARID project.Her experience has been of a first-hand consulting nature and execution.




Farmer and Jatropha cultivation consultant

Virdhunagar, India

He is a master in Zoology.He has vast experience in agriculture especially in Jatropha cultivation .He has 8 acre Jatropha farm on his own.He joined with ASSEFA (Association for Serva Seva Farms) as a project associate after his masters.Then he joined as the team member of Tamilnadu Government’s Wasteland development project where he was involved in making wasteland useful through cultivation of drought resistant crops.Later he joined with Ahimsa- NGO where he worked as Jatropha cultivation consultant where his work was identification of land,raising seedlings,distribution of seedlings and cultivation of Jatropha.He has helped 13 farmers in getting bank loan for Jatropha cultivation and guided them in the cultivation and maintenance in 105 acre in total. Now he has formed People&Nature development Trust and has given a proposal to D1 oils for Jatropha cultivation in 2000 acre (contract farming).His vast hands on experience in Jatropha cultivation will play a major role in determining the success of the project.He will be the cultivation team head of this project.

Stanford University-E & Social E-Challenge

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 JARID is a participant of E & Social E-Challenge events of Stanford University(http://bases.stanford.edu/site/socialechall/index.jsp , http://bases.stanford.edu/site/echall/index.htm) where it was very close to semi-final.We hope to receive support and suggesstion from Ms.Ginger Turner who works for World Bank.

Thanks to Rebecca and Patrick of Stanford University for their great help and leads.


 1. Elvina MintarnoMS., Management sciences & Engineering-Stanford University  2. David Adam Grossman-Undergraduate in Energy studies-Stanford University 

3. Saurabh Samdani-MS-Civil Engineering- Stanford University 

4.Naga Phani Babu-Ms-Civil Engineeing-Stanford University

5.Team JARID-India


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JARID is the second runner up at IIT-M Genesis-2007(http://www.genesis.iitm.ac.in/) where it was qualified for Rs.50,000 seed fund from Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS).

We thank the Genesis team and Prof.Aswin Mahalingam for their assistance and guidance.


1.Ms. Kanchana Ravichandran-Community partner

2. S. Praveen Kumar: 2nd yr. (Mechanical Engineering). IIT Madras.

3. Arbind Kumar Mishra: 2nd yr. (Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture).  IIT Madras.

4. Anirudh Vij: 2nd yr. (Electrical Engineering). IIT Madras.

5. Gopal Satheesh Kumar: Research Scholar (Mechanical Engineering). IIT  Madras.

6. L. Natana Sabapathy, Project Associate, RuTAG, IIT Madras.

7.A.K. Ravi Shankar: 2nd yr M Sc. (Biotechnology) .SRM University,Chennai 

JARID-an introduction

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To help the village to become self-dependant in its energy needs, to use the waste land to empower womenhood and to drive rural India towards a socially, economically and environmentally better future.   

JARID is a multi-stage project aimed at (1) helping villages to become self-sufficient in their energy needs, (2) improving womankind, and (3) driving rural India towards a socially, economically, and environmentally better future.Our model is new and would bring about rural empowerment and a distributed development.Ten Ha of wasteland will be procured for the cultivation of the Jatropha plant in a rural village; the land will also be intercropped with Aloe-Vera for financial sustenance during the first two years that the Jatropha nursery is being raised. The local and nearby villagers will be educated through awareness camps and workshops about the need for energy security using renewable sources and alternative crops. By providing seeds at a nominal price, these villagers will take up small-scale plantations or use the land for fencing crops.

During the second year, using income obtained from the intercrop, trans-estrification machinery and other infrastructure will be installed to produce biodiesel. Once the Jatropha plants produce yield (2.5 – 3 years), we will be prepared to manufacture the biodiesel. The Jatropha seeds will also be purchased from the villagers, and once the biodiesel is manufactured, it will be sold back to the villagers.

Tractor and motor vehicle owners, diesel-based water pump users, and flour and rice mills will be targeted for selling the bio-diesel as a cheaper and equally efficient alternative. In an attempt to replace the dependency on petroleum products, usage in cooking will be encouraged by providing Jatropha oil-based stoves, thus leading to a more cost effective and environmentally friendly energy source compared to petroleum or kerosene.

April 24, 2007

Business Advisory Board members and Support network

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Support network:Team JARID thanks all our guides and supporters who helped us in drafting this project proposal successfully.1.Mr.Raman, MSSRF (M.S.SwaminathanResearchFoundation),Chennai –www.mssrf.org

2. SISI (Small Industries Service Institute) Chennai – http://www.sisi-chennai.com/ 3. TNAU (Tamilnadu Agricultural University)-Bioenergy department – www.tnau.ac.in4. ITCOT,Chennai – HYPERLINK -www.itcot.com/5.Mr.Krishnan,Aid India

6. Ms.Sheethal, Mahatma Gandhi Rural Energy Institute,Banglore

6. Dr.Subramaniyan, Viswas Agrotech Ltd,Chennai-Agricultural consultancy

7. Dr.Kannan , NABARD –  www.nabard.org

8. Kumar Industrial works, SIDCO Industrial Estate, Salem – Machinery guidance9.Mr.Ravichandran,Chennai-Cultivation guide10.Mrs.Kanchana Ravichandran

11.Mr.Mukundan,MD,Sarvals Automation Pvt.ltd, Chennai -Stove guide

12.Dr.Ashwin Mahalingam,IIT-Madras

13.Dr.Soundararajan, Large scale Jatropha farmer, Virudhunagar – Cultivation/farming guide.

14.Mr.Grish , Equipment engineers Pvt.Ltd.,Chennai – Machinery guidance

and other resource people and farmers who extended their helping hands to this project….

April 20, 2007

Contact us

Filed under: Contact us — Tags: — JARID @ 7:44 pm

JaRID-JAtropha for Rural Indian Development Project,

6/11-4th Cross st

Ellayamman Colony


Chennai-600 086

044 – 24340050

9840526816, 9444776264

E-mail : akravishankar@gmail.com, pathy80@gmail.com


April 19, 2007

Welcome to Jarid

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img_0630.jpgThe blog will be updated soon…Thanks for your visit…

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