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Cassava as an energy crop: A case study of the potential for an expansion of cassava cultivation for bioethanol production in Southern Mali

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  • Kristensen, Søren Bech Pilgaard
  • Birch-Thomsen, Torben
  • Rasmussen, Kjeld
  • Rasmussen, Laura Vang
  • Traoré, Oumar

Abstract

Cassava based bioethanol production is a promising alternative to conventional fossil fuels and commercial production is already well established in several countries. A production based on small holder production may involve a transformation of the existing production system and it is therefore imperative to investigate opportunities and barriers for expansion of cassava production. This paper investigates the potential for an expansion of cassava cultivation for bioethanol production in Southern Mali. It is based on a questionnaire survey with 65 households in 2 villages in Loulouni municipality, which represent two major agro-ecological environments in the Soudan-zone in Mali. The results reveal that farmers are experienced cassava producers and are interested in an expansion of cassava cultivation for bioethanol production and that suitable areas are available, especially for an expansion of the Attieké cassava variety. Little competition with food crops is likely, as cassava most likely would replace cotton as primary cash crop, following the decline of cotton production since 2005 and hence food security concerns appear not to be an issue. Stated price levels to motivate an expansion of cassava production are close to acceptable levels to make bioethanol production profitable and the advantages of a continuous demand at agreed prices may motivate farmers to accept prices which would make bioethanol production competitive.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristensen, Søren Bech Pilgaard & Birch-Thomsen, Torben & Rasmussen, Kjeld & Rasmussen, Laura Vang & Traoré, Oumar, 2014. "Cassava as an energy crop: A case study of the potential for an expansion of cassava cultivation for bioethanol production in Southern Mali," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 381-390.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:renene:v:66:y:2014:i:c:p:381-390
    DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2013.12.021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Bioethanol; Cassava; Mali; Production system;

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