Our Trees

Native to India and Australia, pongamia is a long-living tree that produces an annual harvest of seeds that are similar to soybeans. On a per-acre basis, pongamia produces ten times the amount of oil than a soybean with a fraction of the inputs (water, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.) and is thus cheaper to maintain while being much more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

TerViva™ has compiled an exclusive library of high-yielding, patentable pongamia genetics from around the world and has developed propagation techniques for scalable, consistent results. The core of the IP platform is the elite pongamia genetics, which are iteratively advanced through a number of exclusive partnerships. TerViva™ is also working on a molecular marker program to identify traits for breeding, such as oil yield and salt tolerance.

Questions about Pongamia? Check out our FAQ or send us a question on our Contact page.                


  • Up to 100kgs of seed pods per tree per year
  • 400 gallons of oil per acre
  • 10x oil production of soy
  • Potenital to surprass the production of palm, with significantly lower environmental impacts


  • Extensive root system adapted to long dry season
  • Demonstrated tolerance of saline soils
  • Insecticidal and nematocidal properties reducing need for pesticides
  • Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in roots reduce need for fertilizer


  • Seeds contain 40% oil, high in oleic acid
  • Seed cake high in protein
  • Variety of downstream applications; biodiesel, crop sprays, lubricants, biopesticides, animal feeds

Downstream Products

We use pongamia to “grow oil”, combining agriculture with chemistry to produce clean fuels and green chemicals -- while at the same time restoring underproductive land and creating jobs in rural communities. Pongamia oil contains long-chain fatty acids that are well-suited for conversion into biodiesel, renewable diesel, high-performance surfactants, and lubricants. Once removed of oil, the residual pongamia seed cake is high in both nitrogen and protein, and has proven value as a fertilizer and animal feed supplement. 


Technology Platform

We offer landowners and growers a scalable, low-cost, turnkey platform:

  • High-yielding, proprietary pongamia varieties
  • Intellectual property on tree cultivation and processing
  • Automated harvesting
  • Use of land in low rainfall areas with limited irrigation
  • Use of land in areas with degraded or compromised soils
  • Minimal use of expensive fertilizers and pesticides
  • Proprietary relationship with market leaders in biofuels, biochemicals, and animal feed 

Plant Genetics

The heart of any crop development program is germplasm selection.  Together with our partners, we have evaluated pongamia varieties in their native environments for over a decade, carefully cataloguing various important agronomic traits such as growth, shape, disease and pest resistance, flowering, seed yield, and seed oil content.  The best pongamia varieties were then subjected to clonal propagation, in order to deploy "true to type" varieties in fields.  Through a 2011 National Science Foundation grant, we also began to develop molecular markers for pongamia breeding in collaboration with UC Davis and Texas A&M University.