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Moges, Kassaye Tekola, 2010. Smallholder farmers and biofuel : farmers' perspectives in growing castor beans in Ethiopia. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Globally biofuels have increasingly been considered as an alternative energy source that could help to reduce green house gas emissions for combating climate change. It is also believed that biofuels have a variety of other potential benefits such as promoting rural development and employment generation. Currently some concerned bodies have started to question the benefits of biofuels development especially in relation to food insecurity and improving livelihoods of smallholders in developing countries. However, there are limited studies from the field that show as to whether the smallholders participating in biofuel development initiatives are benefiting from biofuel development schemes. This study takes a case of castor bean production for biofuel through contract farming with smallholder farmers in wolaita zone, southern Ethiopia. The contractual farming was initiated by a company called the Global Energy Ethiopia Private Limited Company (GEE) since 2007. The study aims to contribute to the understanding of the implications of the current biofuel developments by exploring farmers’ experience in growing castor beans for biofuel production. Issues of livelihood and food security have been used as guiding concepts and semi structured interviews, participant observation and field notes have been employed for data collection. The study reveals that farmers have relatively low economic incentives to grow castor beans in comparison to food crops. The study further shows that growing castor beans in a contractual agreement contributes insignificantly to the improvement of farmers livelihood and food security situations. However, due to availability of fertilizer at relatively low prices, many farmers continue to grow castor beans on fields that are aimed for food production. The study discusses that growing castor beans on fertile land is not in line with Biofuel Development Strategy of Ethiopia, which emphasizes that energy crops should be grown on "marginal" lands.

Main title:Smallholder farmers and biofuel
Subtitle:farmers' perspectives in growing castor beans in Ethiopia
Authors:Moges, Kassaye Tekola
Supervisor:Sandström, Emil
Examiner:Cavalett , Otavio
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2010
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM009 Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:biofuels, livelihood, smallholder farmers, food security, castor bean, Ethiopia
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agricultural research
Agricultural economics and policies
Development economics and policies
Rural sociology and social security
Rural population
Energy resources management
Renewable energy resources
Social sciences, humanities and education
Deposited On:03 Mar 2011 08:56
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:18

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