US-based SG Biofuels (SGB) and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) have formed an alliance to develop Jatropha as an alternative energy crop.

Bio-diesel refiner Fiagril also concluded a similar agreement with SGB.

SGB will employ its breeding and genomics platform, including a library of Jatropha genetic material, alongside Embrapa’s advanced technologies to increase productivity of Jatropha.

The company alongside Fiagril will work towards the establishment of a a JMax Knowledge Center that develops hybrid varieties of the crop, adapted to local conditions.

The center center will also establish best practices for the successful commercial deployment of the crop.

SGB president and CEO Kirk Haney said that the agreements are a testimony to viability of Jatropha hybrids in Brazil and offer a strong platform for the crops commercial expansion.

"We look forward to benefiting from Embrapa’s expertise in Brazilian agriculture as we deploy Jatropha projects for Fiagril and other customers," Haney added.

"Working in partnership with Fiagril, we look forward to deploying our elite Jatropha hybrids as a complementary crop to soybean in Mato Grosso and ultimately expanding the available feedstock supply for their biorefinery."