Special Issue "The Global Jatropha Hype—Drivers and Consequences of the Boom and Bust of a Wonder Crop"


A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Aklilu Amsalu
Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box, 150223, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Website: http://www.aau.edu.et
E-Mail: amsalu.aklilu@gmail.com
Interests: land use change and related conflicts; effects of agro-investments; land and water management; climate change impacts and adaptation

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Annelies Zoomers
International Development Studies (IDS), Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
Website: http://www.uu.nl/staff/EBZoomers
E-Mail: E.B.Zoomers@uu.nl
Interests: sustainable livelihoods; land policies and the impact of privatization, tourism and international migration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleaues,

This special issue aims to collect case studies regarding the global Jatropha hype, which analyze in detail the boost and bust of this wonder crop in the context of different countries and under different business models. We will focus, in particular, on who created the hype (including the role of the media); the success of Jatropha producers in acquiring land (and how they managed to win against competing land claims); the characteristics of the investors and what they did do to promote their ideas and investment plans); as well as the consequences for local groups, national economies, and the environment.

To the extent that Jatropha production has indeed ‘boosted’ (and is now occupying considerable areas of land) there are basic questions that require scrutiny: what business models are used and what are current patterns of benefit sharing? In cases where investors have moved away from Jatropha, what were the reasons for this bust, and how was this framed? What happened to the land, and what kind of transformations have taken place instead (such inquiries have to account for the perspectives of local actors as well)? Looking at the Jatropha hype (or hypes regarding other wonder crops that, in the end, did not materialize), what can we learn? What enabled Jatropha to become so hyped? What narrative was behind the hype? What remains after the hype has gone, and how can new fads of the same ilk be prevented?

Leading questions:

  • What are the drivers behind the hype / what narratives?
  • Who are/were the actors and who enabled these investments? How was this promoted? What power relations are behind all these investments?
  • How much land was involved and how was this acquired?
  • What business model and what type of benefit sharing was utilized?
  • What has happened since the hype?
  • What are the social and economic consequences of the boost/bust?
  • What is the environmental impact?
  • What are the future prospects for Jatropha?

Time schedule

  1. Abstract submission (250 words): 11 October  2013
  2. First draft: 15 December 2013
  3. Final draft: 1 February 2014
  4. Publication: Spring 2014

Dr. Aklilu Amsalu
Prof. Dr. Annelies Zoomers
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Published Papers (2 papers)

Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2223-2247; doi:10.3390/su6042223
Received: 5 December 2013; in revised form: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 24 March 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (754 KB) | View HTML Full-text | Download XML Full-text

Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 1686-1704; doi:10.3390/su6041686
Received: 14 December 2013; in revised form: 16 March 2014 / Accepted: 24 March 2014 / Published: 2 April 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (229 KB) | Download XML Full-text

Last update: 26 September 2013

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