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Biofuel investment in Tanzania: Omissions in implementation


  • Habib-Mintz, Nazia


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Habib-Mintz, Nazia, 2010. "Biofuel investment in Tanzania: Omissions in implementation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 3985-3997, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:8:p:3985-3997

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Henny Romijn & Sanne Heijnen & Jouke Rom Colthoff & Boris de Jong & Janske van Eijck, 2014. "Economic and Social Sustainability Performance of Jatropha Projects: Results from Field Surveys in Mozambique, Tanzania and Mali," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(9), pages 1-33, September.
    2. repec:zbw:espost:170727 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Cororaton, Caesar B. & Timilsina, Govinda R. & Mevel, Simon, 2010. "Impacts Of Large Scale Expansion Of Biofuels On Global Poverty And Income Distribution," Proceedings Issues, 2010: Climate Change in World Agriculture: Mitigation, Adaptation, Trade and Food Security, June 2010, Stuttgart- Hohenheim, Germany 91279, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    4. Romijn, Henny A. & Caniëls, Marjolein C.J., 2011. "The Jatropha biofuels sector in Tanzania 2005-2009: Evolution towards sustainability?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 618-636, May.
    5. Gasparatos, A. & von Maltitz, G.P. & Johnson, F.X. & Lee, L. & Mathai, M. & Puppim de Oliveira, J.A. & Willis, K.J., 2015. "Biofuels in sub-Sahara Africa: Drivers, impacts and priority policy areas," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 879-901.
    6. Li, Jia & Bluemling, Bettina & Mol, Arthur P. J. & Herzfeld, Thomas, 2014. "Stagnating Jatropha Biofuel Development in Southwest China: An Institutional Approach," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 3192-3212.
    7. 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.
    8. van Eijck, Janske & Romijn, Henny & Balkema, Annelies & Faaij, André, 2014. "Global experience with jatropha cultivation for bioenergy: An assessment of socio-economic and environmental aspects," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 869-889.
    9. Dorel Dusmanescu & Jean Andrei & Gheorghe H. Popescu & Elvira Nica & Mirela Panait, 2016. "Heuristic Methodology for Estimating the Liquid Biofuel Potential of a Region," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(9), pages 1-19, August.
    10. 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.
    11. Abila, Nelson, 2012. "Biofuels development and adoption in Nigeria: Synthesis of drivers, incentives and enablers," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 387-395.
    12. 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.
    13. Ahmed, Abubakari & Campion, Benjamin Betey & Gasparatos, Alexandros, 2017. "Biofuel development in Ghana: policies of expansion and drivers of failure in the jatropha sector," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 133-149.

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