Sustainable development: biofuels in agriculture


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Biofuels are socially and politically accepted as a form of sustainable energy in numerous countries. However, cases of environmental degradation and land grabs have highlighted the negative effects to their adoption. Smallholder farmers are vital in the development of a biofuel industry. The study sought to assess the implications in the adoption of biofuel crops by smallholder farmers. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 129 smallholder farmers who were sampled from the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. A binary probit model was used to investigate the determinants of smallholder farmers adopting biofuel crops. The empirical results showed that the variables, such as membership in association, occupation and incentives were statistically significant in influencing farmers’ decision to adopt biofuel crops. Furthermore, it was discovered that the studied areas have a potential to grow biofuel crops.

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    • Table 1. Biofuels licence status as of 2014
    • Table 2. Variables used in the study
    • Table 3. Probit model results
    • Table 4. Challenges faced by respondents
    • Table 5. Incentives needed by respondents