ASSESSMENT OF THE AWARENESS AND USES OF JATROPHA CURCAS IN LANKAN DISTRICT OF PANKSHIN LGA, PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA.
Jatropha curcas is a multipurpose plant with potentials for biodiesel production and medical uses. This study focused on the assessment of the awareness and uses of Jatropha Curcas in Lankan District of Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State, Nigeria. Data collected for the study was through the use of well structured questionnaire administered to sixty (60) respondents randomly selected from the study area. It specifically described the socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents, examine farmers awareness of the economic uses of the plant, identified the prevalent uses of Jatropha curcas in the area. Descriptive statistics such as frequency counts, means and percentages were used as tool for data analysis. The results show that 36.67% of the respondents were within the age range of 41-50years, 65% were males,55% were married, 51.67% had tertiary educational qualifications, 41.67% were farmers and 33.33% had farming experience. The result revealed that 43.33% of the respondents access information from parents and guardians. The study indicates that the crop is used for fencing (33.33%), 25% used it for land demarcation, 16.67% for medicinal purposes, 8.33% used it for erosion control etc. It was discovered that only 13.33% of the respondents were aware of the economic importance of the crop. It is therefore recommended that more enlightenment campaign about the economic uses of the crop be embarked upon by the Federal and State Governments.