Smallholders in Global Bioenergy Value Chains and Certification: Evidence from Three Case Studies
Over the last few years, there has been growing interest in bioenergy, due in part to its potential for rural development and climate change mitigation, and as an energy alternative given the high price of oil. At the same time, concerns regarding the potential negative impacts of bioenergy have also grown and have led to the development of a range of voluntary standards aimed at ensuring the sustainability of bioenergy production. While one of the goals of voluntary standards is to enhance the sustainability of bioenergy production – including from a socio-economic perspective – they might also present a disincentive for incorporating smallholders in value chains, due to greater cost and complexity. FAO’s Bioenergy and Food Security Criteria and Indicators (BEFSCI) project conducted three case studies to examine the opportunities and challenges for smallholders presented by: 1) bioenergy as a new type of value chain, and by 2) bioenergy certification schemes. Understanding the specific challenges and opportunities for smallholder inclusion in bioenergy voluntary standards and certification is crucial in order to ensure that modern bioenergy development delivers on its rural development and poverty reduction potential.
Publisher Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Keywords Bioenergy, biofuel, certification, voluntary standards, oil palm, jatropha, sugarcane