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International Journal of Agricultural Research
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 7  |  Issue: 10  |  Page No.: 457 - 469

Sustainability of Sugarcane and Cassava-based Fuel-ethanol Production in China

Yu Zhang, Jianhong Ni and Sizhu Zhang    

Abstract: The possibility to relieve the energy crisis and reduce the greenhouse effect by using bio-fuels, such as fuel-ethanol, has attracted a great concern. Nevertheless, the cultivation of dedicated energy crops dose meet with some criticisms (conflict with food security and environmental degradation, for example). Sugarcane and cassava are regarded as the potential energy crops for fuel-ethanol production. This study evaluated the sustainable production by the usages of sugarcane and cassava as fuel-ethanol feedstock. Firstly, estimated the cost efficiency for sugarcane and cassava production by adopting the stochastic frontier cost function. Secondly, the sustainability of each crop production was evaluated. Empirical results reveal that either sugarcane or cassava production the scope to reduce cost by enhancing farmers’ technical efficiency under the present technology is very limited. After considering sustainable production, cassava, which requires low agro-chemical, should be recommended as a prior energy crop in China with higher rates in ethanol conversion and dry matter.

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