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ERIC Number: EJ989650
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
The Sugarcane-Biofuel Expansion and Dairy Farmers' Responses in Brazil
Novo, Andre; Jansen, Kees; Slingerland, Maja
Journal of Rural Studies, v28 n4 p640-649 Oct 2012
The expansion of sugarcane for biofuels is a highly contentious issue. The growth of sugarcane area has occurred simultaneously with a reduction of dairy production in Sao Paulo state, the primary production region for sugar and ethanol in Brazil. This paper analyses different dairy farm rationales to continue dairy production in the context of a dramatically expanding sugarcane economy. Combining different data sets--semi-structured interviews with 34 farmers and baseline data from all members of a dairy farm co-operative--makes it possible to recognize different farm types. This heuristic tool is used to identify the various strategies regarding shifting to biofuel production or investing in dairy farming. The paper identifies labour availability, household resilience and technology introduction as key factors in the context of complex, multiple interactions between the biofuel sector and dairy production. We will argue that biofuel-sugarcane expansion not always pushes aside dairy farming. Those farmers that shift to sugarcane are not simply spurred by better prices, but mainly change as result of perceptions of labour constraints, risks and the opportunities offered by diversification. For farmers who totally quit dairy production the shift to sugarcane may pass the point of no return. (Contains 3 tables and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil