Last update : 28.10.2010
Agrofuels in Brazil: What is the outlook for its farming sector
Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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This study of Brazilian agrofuels deals separately with ethanol and biodiesel. In spite of overlaps which will be discussed in the text and which are likely to increase with time ethanol and biodiesel are governed by very different dynamics. The former is derived from large sugarcane plantations still heavily dependent on, often casual, harvest wage-labourers. Some two-thirds of sugar cane production is concentrated in the State of São Paulo (SP). The emerging biodiesel market, on the other hand, is a government created and regulated market which was launched as recently as 2004. As we will describe in the main body of the text, it is a highly elaborated and original case of "market construction". Legally enforced regulation on the mixture of biodiesel (a subordinate feature also, it should be added, of the ethanol market) will ensure a progressively expanding market providing a predictable long-term framework for investments. This report will be divided into three sections: the first two dealing respectively with ethanol and biodiesel and the final section with a series of three regional case studies. The first two sections involve a detailed analysis of each sector’s dynamic with a specific focus on social, gender, food security and environmental implications.
Added on 20 February 2009
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