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Biofuel investment in Tanzania: Omissions in implementation


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  • Habib-Mintz, Nazia
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    Increasing demand for biofuels as a component of climate change mitigation, energy security, and a fossil fuel alternative attracts investors to developing countries like Tanzania. Ample unused land is critical for first generation biofuels production and an important feature to attract foreign direct investments that can contribute towards agricultural modernization and poverty reduction initiatives. Despite the economic justifications, the existing institutional and infrastructural capacities dictate the impacts of biofuels market penetrations. Furthermore, exogenous factors like global recessionary pressure depressed oil prices below the level at which biofuel production were profitable in 2007, making Tanzania's competitiveness and potential benefits questionable. This paper investigates the extent that first generation, jatropha-based biofuels industry development in Tanzania observed during fieldwork in Kisarawe and Bahi may fulfill policy objectives. This paper argues that without strong regulatory frameworks for land, investment management, and rural development, biofuel industrialization could further exacerbate poverty and food insecurity in Tanzania. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for first generation biofuel development while keeping in mind implications of second generation production. Since the topic is broad and multifaceted, a multidisciplinary approach is used that includes political, institutional, and agricultural economics to analyze and conceptualize biofuel industry development and food security.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 3985-3997

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:8:p:3985-3997

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    Keywords: Biofuels Tanzania Jatropha;


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    1. Banse, Martin & Grethe, Harald, 2008. "Effects Of A Potential New Biofuel Directive On Eu Land Use And Agricultural Markets," 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain 6331, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Wiesenthal, Tobias & Leduc, Guillaume & Christidis, Panayotis & Schade, Burkhard & Pelkmans, Luc & Govaerts, Leen & Georgopoulos, Panagiotis, 2009. "Biofuel support policies in Europe: Lessons learnt for the long way ahead," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 789-800, May.
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    5. Jacobsen, Dag Ingvar, 1999. "Trust in Political-Administrative Relations: The Case of Local Authorities in Norway and Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 839-853, May.
    6. van Eijck, Janske & Romijn, Henny, 2008. "Prospects for Jatropha biofuels in Tanzania: An analysis with Strategic Niche Management," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 311-325, January.
    7. Oecd, 2006. "Agricultural Market Impacts of Future Growth in the Production of Biofuels," OECD Papers, OECD Publishing, vol. 6(1), pages 1-57.
    8. Rajagopal, Deepak & Zilberman, David, 2007. "Review of environmental, economic and policy aspects of biofuels," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4341, The World Bank.
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    11. Christian Romer Løvendal & Marco Knowles & Naoko Horii, 2004. "Understanding Vulnerability to Food Insecurity Lessons from Vulnerable Livelihood Profiling," Working Papers 04-18, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
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    Cited by:
    1. Segerstedt, Anna & Bobert, Jans, 2013. "Revising the potential of large-scale Jatropha oil production in Tanzania: An economic land evaluation assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 491-505.
    2. Cororaton, Caesar B. & Timilsina, Govinda R., 2012. "Impacts of large-scale expansion of biofuels on global poverty and income distribution," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6078, The World Bank.
    3. German, Laura & Schoneveld, George & Mwangi, Esther, 2013. "Contemporary Processes of Large-Scale Land Acquisition in Sub-Saharan Africa: Legal Deficiency or Elite Capture of the Rule of Law?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 1-18.
    4. Zonin, Valdecir José & Valle Antunes, José Antônio & Pinto Leis, Rodrigo, 2014. "Multicriteria analysis of agricultural raw materials: A case study of BSBIOS and PETROBRAS BIOFUELS in Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 255-263.


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