Also known as Tubang Bakod in Tagalog, Physic Nut in English or interchangeably tuba-tuba or Jatropha. The latest craze to hit the agri-business in the Philippines. Cultivated primarily for its oil to produce biodiesel. The Tuba-tuba has been planted in the Philippines for quite some time but it was used mainly as fencing since it animals do not eat the leaves -even the insatiable goat would not eat the leaves. The ever increasing price of petroleum prices has triggered interest on the Tuba-tuba or Jatropha.
Benefits of Planting Tuba-tuba/Jatropha:
– Aside from using the seed oil as biodiesel, the extracted oil can also be used in making soap.
– The Jatropha/Tuba-tuba leaves can be used for fumigating houses to expel bugs.
– The root extract of Jatropha plant can be used as yellow die while the bark extract as blue dye. While the seeds when pounded can be used for tanning.
– The roots, flowers and latex of the Jatropha plant are said to have medicinal properties.
– Planting Jatropha reduces soil degradation, erosion and deforestation of the countryside.
In the Philippines, planting of Jatropha or Tuba-tuba is on high gear, more so in Visayas & Mindanao but it can be planted anywhere. The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is actively promoting its planting to coconut farmers.
With the ever increasing interest in biodiesel fuels, we may one day get used to the idea that fuel for our vehicles was harvested from local plantations instead of using imported oil from the Middle East.
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