In an article published in the Philippine Agricultural Scientist, UPLB economist Prof. U-Primo E. Rodriguez and Dr. Liborio Cabanilla, dean of the College of Economics and Management, noted that using sugarcane as source of energy may have adverse effects. Both examined the potential implications of using sugar as biofuel feedstock, particularly on the country’s agriculture and food security.
Sugar is an important commodity in the Philippines, a major input in food processing industries. In 2007, the Department of Agriculture reported that by 2001 about 8.5 M metric tons of sugarcane will be needed to fulfill the mandated blending of gasoline with 10% ethanol. This represents around 37% of the total sugarcane produced in the country in 2005.
Using a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model, the researchers found that there would be several implications to the agricultural and food processing sectors if sugar is to be used for biofuel production.
“Devoting sugarcane as biofuel feedstock would probably raise the average domestic prices of agricultural, fishery and forest products, which in turn will make production costs higher and therefore increase prices of food products in the market,” Prof. Rodriguez stated.
They estimated that while value added and employment will grow in the agriculture, fishery and forestry sector, it will be the opposite for the food processing sector.
All in all, this would affect people’s spending behavior. Consumption is projected to fall by 0.18%. Prof. Rodriguez also added that agricultural, fishery, forest and food products export will decline.
Specific impacts to the sugar industry
According to the research’s simulation, there are significant impacts which would greatly affect the sugar industry. First would be the increase of about 18.5% of sugar prices due to the stimulating demand for sugarcane. This would induce significant increases in the value added and employment in the sugar industry.
The big expansion of the sugar industry, however, will just be the only reason for the general expansion of the agriculture, fishery and forestry sector. Rodriguez explained that the expanding sugar industry will affect industries such as corn, livestock and poultry, probably due to the possible allocation of resources to sugar planting.
Simulation results indicate also that some economic activities such as sugar milling, petroleum refining and mining will contract.
More analysis needed
While the research results showed that sugar for biofuel will have adverse effects on the economy, Prof. Rodriguez recommended more in-depth studies should be pursued to get a better informed assessment. He further added that economists should also focus on the other dimensions of economic development and environmental impact.
“Although our CGE model have provided sound economic frameworks for analysis, a more rigorous economic evaluation of the food vs. fuel issue would definitely need other studies using complementary analytical and quantitative tools,” Prof. Rodriguez concluded.
For reference:Prof. U-Primo E. Rodriguez
Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.07.2017 | Life Sciences