The Jatropha plant has pantropic distribution and survives under arid conditions. The seed yields 30% oil known as hell oil, pinheon oil, oleum infernale or oleum ricini majoris, which contains small amounts of an irritant curcanoleic acid, which is related to ricinoleic acid, the principle active ingredients of castor oil and croton oil respectively.

Ruhi Kandhari travels to a cold desert in Himachal Pradesh to see how a former bureaucrat is greening it.


Agriculture sector contributes a major portion in gross production of India. In spite of this, agriculture today is finding itself in increasing difficulties. The adverse impact of agriculture based on synthetic fertilizers and herbicides is visible in the degradation of soil fertility, quality of food, taste of food and so on.

A three-year-old case related to garbage disposal in village panchayats will come for final hearing on November 29 before the Division Bench of Bombay High Court at Goa.
The double bench comprising of Justices D G Karnik and F M Reis directed all the VPs to file a compliance report over the garbage disposal site by October 31.

Due to increasing environmental concerns in the wastewater treatment sector, the environmental impacts of organic waste disposal procedures require careful evaluation. However, the impacts related to the return of organic matter to agricultural soils are difficult to assess.

Agriculture in what is now Mexico City can be traced back to the great city of Tenochtitl

If human urine is properly collected and used for agriculture, it contributes to improved environmental sanitation in cities and reduces the costs of crop production. The innovation lies in the integration of agriculture, environment and sanitation sectors.

To better understand the linkage between sanitation and agriculture at municipal scale, a study was carried out that addressed the following research questions:
- How does a larger investment in flush toilets affect water quality and urban farmers?
- How much of the nutrient demand of urban farmers could be covered through waste composting?

Rapid urbanisation in developing countries intensifies the challenges of making sufficient food available for the increasing urban population, and managing the related waste flow. Unlike in rural communities, there is usually little or no return of food biomass and related nutrients into the food production process. Most waste ends up on landfills or pollutes the urban environment.