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Agricultural R&D investments, biofuel policy and food security – a CGE analysis

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  • Zuzana Smeets Kristkova
  • Edward Smeets
  • Hans van Meijl

Abstract

There are major concerns about the impact of the large scale use of crops for energy generation on land use and food security. The objective of this study is to evaluate the possibilities and limitationsof avoiding these undesirable effects by increasing the productivity of crop and livestock production through investments in R&D in agriculture. An extended version of the Modular Applied GeNeral Equilibrium Tool (MAGNET) is used to model the R&D investments in agriculture to compensate the effects of 15 EJ to 100 EJ biomass supply from woody and grassy energy crop plantations. The costsof agricultural R&D necessary to avoid the expansion of land are estimated at 6 to 64 billion US$ for 15 to 100 EJ, respectively. Food security effects are less costly to compensate, i.e. the food securityimproves if the land use change effects of bioenergy are compensated. The costs of R&D investments are 0.4 to 0.6 $ per GJ biomass from plantations. The required R&D investments are higher inindustrialized countries compared to developing regions, because of the longer time lag between R&D investments and productivity increases in industrialized regions. The impact of agricultural R&Dinvestments in agriculture to avoid land use change in 2030 results in additional positive effects in 2040 and 2050, i.e. agricultural land use decreases and food security improves compared to no bioenergy plantation scenario, because of the time lag effect of R&D investments. We conclude that investments in agriculture R&D are a potentially effective and low-cost strategy to avoid undesirableland use change and food security effects of large scale use of biomass from energy crop plantations, but early planning and timing of bioenergy policies with investments in R&D in agriculture is essential. see paper see paper

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  • Zuzana Smeets Kristkova & Edward Smeets & Hans van Meijl, 2016. "Agricultural R&D investments, biofuel policy and food security – a CGE analysis," EcoMod2016 9966, EcoMod.
  • Handle: RePEc:ekd:009007:9966
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