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Sugar Cane Expansion: Does It Contribute To Amazon Deforestation?

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  • Castro, Eduardo Rodrigues de
  • Teixeira, Erly Cardoso
  • Valdes, Constanza

Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate the direct and indirect impacts of sugarcane expansion on deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon from 2001 to 2008. The analysis is based on the multi-output production theory where the annual agricultural acreage represents the Production Possibility Frontier. It assumes that agricultural area is limited and any agricultural expansion occurs over traditional agricultural areas displacing some crops and pushing them to the agricultural frontier, where forests will be cleared. The econometric analysis was carried out using a panel data model where the counties are the cross section unity. The output supply for São Paulo state and the agricultural frontier states (Mato Grosso, Rondônia, Maranhão and Tocantins) in the Center-West region are estimated separately, considering the acreage as proxy of the output and the crop prices of sugarcane, soybean, corn, beans, cotton and the total annual acreage as the independent variables. The impact of crop prices and the annual agricultural crop expansion over the deforestation acreage are also estimated. Our best estimates reveal that it is not possible to establish a direct connection between sugarcane area expansion and Amazon deforestation, and while the indirect effects are very small, sugarcane also expanded over pastures and perennial crops, leading to an overall increase in annual crop area.

Suggested Citation

  • Castro, Eduardo Rodrigues de & Teixeira, Erly Cardoso & Valdes, Constanza, 2012. "Sugar Cane Expansion: Does It Contribute To Amazon Deforestation?," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 131703, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:131703
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Chambers,Robert G., 1988. "Applied Production Analysis," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521314275.
    4. Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Rudinei Toneto Júnior & André Luis Squarize Chagas, 2008. "Teremos que trocar energia por comida? Análise do impacto da expansão da produção de cana-de-açúcar sobre o preço da terra e dos alimentos," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200807181249020, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
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    Keywords

    Brazil; sugarcane; agricultural frontier; Amazon deforestation; Agricultural and Food Policy; Crop Production/Industries; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; Q110; Q160; Q230;

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