The croton tree developing throughout Kenya can be a new source of low-carbon biofuel. According to Eco Fuels Kenya, the croton tree can replace diesel or fuel, thus reducing the pollution and poverty and help Africa reach its developmental growth.
The scarcity of fuels in the gas stations or non-affordability of the fuels and increasing air pollution in Nairobi are the major reason for Kenya to take up such a project.
“The failure of the jatropha project as let the Eco Fuels Kenya take a different business model for the croton project” says Myles Katz—the managing director of Eco Fuels Kenya.
The croton produces low carbon dioxide causing less pollution. The croton is an inedible fruit, thus there is no deforestation of the human edible products. The croton tree does not require separate monoculturing as it is already present throughout Kenya. The byproduct of tree can be used to make paste, cakes or organic fertilizers useful for poultry, thus helping the Kenya economy.
Owing to the low oil prices, failure of jatropha project is unlikely to make Kenyan government officials, foreign investors, and local farmers take interest in the alternative energy development. Thus, despite these obstacles, Kenya has been producing tonnes of croton trees helping the jobless local farmers and still continues to grow. The year 2017 has the state Naivasha set a new plant and also to expand its business in Rwanda and Tanzania.
Is croton going to be the next global biofuel? It is skeptical but if the oil prices rise and reserved local entrepreneurs take interest then Africa can cash on this crop.