Retrofitting the Brazilian Biodiesel Programme: Implications for Policy Design
AbstractIn the context of oil price volatility and the need to reduce carbon emissions, biofuels are an emerging area of interest for many developing nations as alternative energy sources that, in some instances, can also enhance livelihoods in deprived agricultural areas. There are, however, a number of questions on this front: is it economically and environmentally feasible to incorporate small-scale family farmers into biofuel value chains? Can the production of biofuel feedstocks complement rather than compete with food crops? The experience of Brazil, a pioneer in the adoption of a socially inclusive approach to the production of feedstocks for biodiesel, has elicited much interest. This Policy Research Brief seeks to take stock of recent institutional developments and draw lessons as part of an ongoing learning process in an area where there are still no obvious sustainable business models or easy pathways to foster the inclusion of small-scale farmers. The Brief suggests that incorporation into the biodiesel value chain is both feasible and productive for family farmers. But the extent of the engagement required of intermediaries can be significant in the early stages of the programme in underserviced areas, particularly where farmers are dispersed and have not been extensively involved with market processes. Those embarking on these programmes thus have to consider such a production-support role. Further, the Brief suggests that intercropping (castor and beans, for example) can mitigate the food-fuel tradeoffs. However, the choice of optimal feedstocks from the point of view of equity and sustainability remains an open question.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth in its series Policy Research Brief with number 15.
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by UNDP - International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth , August 2010, pages 1-4
Retrofitting the Brazilian Biodiesel Programme: Implications for Policy Design;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2010-09-18 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2010-09-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2010-09-18 (Energy Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Andre Lyra).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.