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Sugar and ethanol production as a rural development strategy in Brazil: Evidence from the state of São Paulo

  • Martinelli, Luiz A.
  • Garrett, Rachael
  • Ferraz, Silvio
  • Naylor, Rosamond
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    Sugar and ethanol production are key components of Brazil's rural development and energy strategies, yet in recent years sugar production has been widely criticized for its environmental and labor practices. This study examines the relationship between rural development and sugarcane, ethanol, and cattle production in the state of São Paulo. Our results suggest that the value added components of sugarcane production, which include sugar refining and ethanol production, may have a strong positive affect on local human development in comparison to primary agricultural production activities and other land uses. These results imply that sugar production, when accompanied by a local processing industry can stimulate rural development. However, this paper also highlights the significant environmental and social harms generated by the sugar industry at large, which may undermine its development benefits if not addressed.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.

    Volume (Year): 104 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 (June)
    Pages: 419-428

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:104:y:2011:i:5:p:419-428
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agsy

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    1. Chaddad, Fabio Ribas & Jank, Marcos Sawaya, 2006. "The Evolution of Agricultural Policies and Agribusiness Development in Brazil," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 21(2).
    2. de Oliveira, Adilson, 1991. "Reassessing the Brazilian alcohol programme," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 47-55.
    3. Guimaraes, Edilson, 2008. "Brazilian Agribusiness (PowerPoint)," Agricultural Outlook Forum 2008 37391, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Outlook Forum.
    4. Guilhoto, J. J. M., 2004. "The regional (state level) importance of the agribusiness GDP in the Brazilian economy," MPRA Paper 38310, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Sperling, Daniel, 1987. "Brazil, ethanol and the process of system change," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 11-23.
    6. Saint, William S., 1982. "Farming for energy: social options under Brazil's National Alcohol Programme," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 223-238, March.
    7. Cerqueira Leite, Rogério Cezar de & Verde Leal, Manoel Regis Lima & Barbosa Cortez, Luís Augusto & Griffin, W. Michael & Gaya Scandiffio, Mirna Ivonne, 2009. "Can Brazil replace 5% of the 2025 gasoline world demand with ethanol?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 655-661.
    8. da Motta, Ronaldo Seroa & da Rocha Ferreira, Leo, 1988. "The Brazilian national alcohol programme : An economic reappraisal and adjustments," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 229-234, July.
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