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The primary objective of this work was to determine the physiological occurrences during the life of the fruit on and off the tree and to improve harvesting and postharvest handling practices. The work began with determining the reproductive characteristics followed by determining the fruits' physicochemical characteristics during maturation, ripening and senescence on the tree. The effort was continued with determining the effect of selected postharvest handling practices to increase oil extraction yield, followed by determination of harvesting indicators and finally a study on ripening treatments for harvested mature green jatropha fruits.This study demonstrated that poor harvesting is not the major reason for not commercializing this non-edible biodiesel feedstock.