Towards a classification of the drivers of jatropha collapse in Ghana elicited from the perceptions of multiple stakeholders

  • Abubakari AhmedEmail author
  • Benjamin Betey Campion
  • Alexandros Gasparatos
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Energy, Environmental Policy and Regulation


Jatropha for biofuel production created high expectations in Ghana for boosting rural development and national energy security. In the mid-to-late 2000s, large areas were allocated across the country to jatropha investments that eventually collapsed. Jatropha collapse has been prevalent across Africa but few studies have empirically addressed the (a) drivers of jatropha collapse (b) post-collapse impacts, and (c) future acceptability of jatropha. Through household surveys and expert interviews, we capture the perceptions of key stakeholders in Ghana involved in the biofuel sector at the national/regional level and local communities around six collapsed jatropha projects. Key drivers of collapse include the (a) low jatropha productivity, (b) weak business planning, (c) community conflicts, (d) institutional barriers, and (e) civil society opposition. Land-related issues are central to almost all of these drivers of collapse. While there is currently considerable scepticism among stakeholders about the future of the biofuel sector in Ghana (and especially of jatropha), there is still some interest in jatropha as reflected in community surveys and recent government policies. As we could not identify a single dominant driver of jatropha collapse locally or nationally “silver bullet” solutions might not exist. However, improving the land administration system would be a key if the negative past experiences of jatropha boom and bust are to be avoided.


Biofuels Jatropha Collapse Sustainability Ghana 



The financial support of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) for the Belmont Forum project FICESSA is acknowledged. AA benefits from a Monbukagakusho scholarship offered by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) and travel funding offered by the Graduate Program in Sustainability Science - Global Leadership Initiative (GPSS-GLI), at the University of Tokyo.

Supplementary material

11625_2018_568_MOESM1_ESM.docx (775 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 774 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Program in Sustainability ScienceThe University of Tokyo, Building of Environmental StudiesKashiwa CityJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Renewable Natural ResourcesKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana
  3. 3.Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S)The University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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