Social Structures in the semi-arid region and the biodiesel market

This is a good read and excellent for understanding some of the on-the-ground-realities of biodiesel for social inclusion outcomes in Brazil. 

[Use google translate if you don’t speak Portuguese : ) ]

Abstract: This article provides an analysis of the processes favored by the incentives and investments derived from the National Program for the Production and Use of Biodiesel (PNPB) in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. Due to the importance of castor bean crops in the region and to PNPB’s wager on castor bean oil as an opportunity for family farmers to take part in the biodiesel market, the main goal of this study is to understand the structure and dynamics of the castor bean market, the changes that PNPB’s incentives have brought about, and the possible obstacles to the processes consistent with the program’s social goals. The analysis has shown that current actions have not been enough to alter the social structures linked to poverty and to poor farmers’ dependence, and also that business dynamics mean significant uncertainties regarding the continuity of current processes.


About Sarina Kilham

I'm a Doctoral Researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. Trained as a social scientist and with a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture, I'm interested in farmer's experiences of growing feedstock for biodiesel production. My research has focused on biodiesel production in Brazil and Timor-Leste. Also on Twitter @sarinakilham and blogging at
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