The Impacts of Large-Scale Biofuel Production in Rural Communities

Citation:

Clancy, Joy, and Jon C. Lovett. 2012. "The Impacts of Large-Scale Biofuel Production In Rural Communities." In Biofuels and Rural Poverty, 50-68. Abingdon: Routledge.

Authors: Joy Clancy , Jon C. Lovett

Annotation:

Summary: 

Large-scale biofuel production offers the prospect of product diversification based on either traditional or new crops. Selling a crop to a new market can help spread the risk of price fluctuation on commodity markets and it can provide an outlet for surpluses. These opportunities are seen as particularly important for many of the traditional sugar-producing countries of the Caribbean and Africa since they offer a means to compensate for the lost revenue due to the loss of preferential quotas and a 36 per cent reduction in guaranteed prices under EU sugar reform. There is also the prospect of refining the biofuels in rural areas, hence the value added by converting the raw material into the final product remains local. The delivery path for large-scale production can be on the basis of agri- business plantation grown crops using wage labour or a central processing plant based on outgrowers or a mixture of the two. Refining first generation biofuel crops needs to take place close to the growing sites since the biomass material generally begins to deteriorate rapidly after harvest. This chapter looks at the socio-economic impacts that large-scale biofuel production is bringing to rural areas, in particular impacts on the assets of small-scale farmers and landless people in rural areas who rely on selling their labour, as well as the distribution of benefits in respect of gender. The focus is on biofuels for export markets, while Chapter 6 looks at the possibilities for serving local markets. One of the major criticisms directed at biofuels has been the vulnerability of the poor to rapid expansion by large-scale biofuel programmes, in particular how this expansion affects their access to land. This chapter, therefore, examines the institutional issues related to biofuels and land tenure (Summary from original source).

Topics: Agriculture, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, North America, Europe

Year: 2012

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