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Building Supply Systems from Scratch: The Case of the Castor Bean for Biodiesel Chain in Minas Gerais, Brazil


  • Watanabe, Kassia
  • Zylbersztajn, Decio


The present study contributes to identifying obstacles to the development of a local biodiesel agro-industrial system (AGS) in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The research questions are: “How do local social characteristics influence the organizational effectiveness of agents involved in the joint production effort?”; and “How can the institutional arrangement of biodiesel production be described?” The method adopted is the case study, focused on family farmers served by the Family Farmers Rural Extension and Technical Assistance Company (EMATER). This state organization introduced castor beans (Ricinus communis L.) to family farmers as an alternative crop to supply a processing plant (Darcy Ribeiro Biodiesel Plant—DRBP) in northern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. These family farmers are not horizontally organized, and sign individual contracts with DRBP. The paper concludes that the primary obstacle to developing the biodiesel AGS with castor beans in Minas Gerais is the lack of horizontal organization among family farmers.

Suggested Citation

  • Watanabe, Kassia & Zylbersztajn, Decio, 2012. "Building Supply Systems from Scratch: The Case of the Castor Bean for Biodiesel Chain in Minas Gerais, Brazil," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 3(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ijofsd:144856

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. da Silva César, Aldara & Otávio Batalha, Mário, 2010. "Biodiesel production from castor oil in Brazil: A difficult reality," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4031-4039, August.
    2. Williamson, Oliver E., 2005. "Transaction cost economics and business administration," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 19-40, March.
    3. Barzel,Yoram, 1997. "Economic Analysis of Property Rights," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521597135, March.
    4. Poulton, Colin & Dorward, Andrew & Kydd, Jonathan, 2010. "The Future of Small Farms: New Directions for Services, Institutions, and Intermediation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1413-1428, October.
    5. Eggertsson,Thrainn, 1990. "Economic Behavior and Institutions," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521348911, March.
    6. Elinor Ostrom, 2008. "Institutions And The Environment," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 24-31, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:110:y:2017:i:c:p:461-470 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dal Belo Leite, João Guilherme & Justino, Flávio Barbosa & Silva, João Vasco & Florin, Madeleine J. & van Ittersum, Martin K., 2015. "Socioeconomic and environmental assessment of biodiesel crops on family farming systems in Brazil," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 22-34.
    3. repec:eee:enepol:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:297-309 is not listed on IDEAS


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