Concerns about energy security and the need to promote rural development have been key factors in the promotion of biofuels in many developing countries in Africa. At the same time, the low cost of labour and plentiful land in some regions of Africa has motivated many foreign investors to set up biofuels schemes that are aimed at export markets.
Small-scale production of biofuels in a Least Developed Country such as Zambia offers a potentially more viable alternative, or in some cases a complement, to large-scale schemes. The lower capital investment required and the fact that households and communities can use by-products allows for value-added at the local level.
The case of Jatropha exhibits a number of benefits if there is a willingness to experiment with various production schemes and develop different products. In this chapter we assess small-scale Jatropha production in Zambia using a case study at Thomro farms. The relation of small-scale schemes to national priorities and policies is reviewed and the future role of Jatropha at local and national levels is discussed.