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Adjusting Biofuel Policies to Meet Social and Rural Development Needs: Analysing the Experiences of Brazil, India and Indonesia


  • Mairon G. Bastos Lima

    () (Institute for Environmental Studies)


This brief examines the social dimensions of the rapid expansion of biofuels as a key element of ?green economies? in the making. It compares three different contexts (Brazil, India and Indonesia) in the developing world, where biofuels have been often promoted under the arguments of poverty alleviation, social inclusion and rural development. The assessment reveals a general mismatch between the social discourse and the biofuel policy instruments adopted. Benefits to poor people in rural areas have been very limited, and far too often they have been left worse off after being incorporated in biofuel production chains under disadvantageous conditions. Better outcomes depend crucially on: (i) building on traditional livelihoods, rather than attempting to replace them; (ii) involving social movements in policy- and decision-making to ensure due consideration of the needs and interests of poor people in rural areas; and (iii) inserting provisions that allow smallholders to climb up the value chain, thus addressing the inequality structures that keep poor people poor. (?)

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  • Mairon G. Bastos Lima, 2013. "Adjusting Biofuel Policies to Meet Social and Rural Development Needs: Analysing the Experiences of Brazil, India and Indonesia," Policy Research Brief 40, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipc:pbrief:40

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Goldemberg, José & Coelho, Suani Teixeira & Guardabassi, Patricia, 2008. "The sustainability of ethanol production from sugarcane," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 2086-2097, June.
    2. Clovis Zapata & Diego Vazquez-Brust & José Plaza-Úbeda, 2010. "Productive Inclusion of Smallholder Farmers in Brazil?s Biodiesel Value Chain: Programme Design, Institutional Incentives and Stakeholder Constraints," Working Papers 73, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
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