Global biofuel expansion and the demand for Brazilian land: intensification versus expansion cover image

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2011
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
GB2013201771

The rapid increase in global biofuel production and consumption, particularly of ethanol, has an associated derived demand for crops to produce the necessary feedstock. This working paper assess the implications of global biofuel expansion on Brazilian land usage at the regional level.The document reveals that most of the expansion in global ethanol consumption outside the US is met by Brazilian ethanol production. The paper analyses the regional land-use changes in Brazil that would result from an increase in ethanol consumption beyond projected levels and finds that: the expansion in Brazilian ethanol production occurs mostly in the southeast region of the country  total sugarcane area expansion in Brazil is higher than the increase in overall area used for agriculture this means that part of the sugarcane expansion displaces other crops and pasture that is not yet replaced, which suggests some intensification in land use a higher proportion of the expansion in sugarcane area occurs at the expense of pasture area, which implies land intensification of beef production nevertheless, the impacts on food prices are limited because of the ability of local producers to increase the intensity of land use in both crop and livestock production The authors conclude that reducing the overall responsiveness of Brazilian agriculture may limit the land-use changes brought about by biofuel expansion, which would in turn reduce its environmental impacts in terms of land expansion.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
A. Elobeid M. Carriquiry J.F. Fabiosa
Publisher(s): 
AgEcon Search
University or Research Institution

AgEcon Search: Research in Agricultural and Applied Economics collects, indexes, and electronically distributes full text copies of scholarly research in the broadly defined field of agricultural economics including sub disciplines such as agribusiness, food supply, natural resource economics, environmental economics, policy issues, agricultural trade, and economic development.

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