The impact of sugarcane expansion in Brazil: Local stakeholders' perceptions

Andreia Marques Postal*, Farahnaz Pashaei Kamali, Lotte Asveld, Patricia Osseweijer, Jose Maria F.J.da Silveira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Sugarcane expansion in Brazil during the 2000s was partly restricted by several discussions about the sustainability aspects of its cultivation. These discussions were mainly based on surveys that sometimes use highly aggregated data not including local perspectives and particularities, and sometimes used case studies with small samples which, while listening to local perspectives, cannot be considered representative of the whole sector. This work aims at filling this gap by considering both the perceptions of the local community, which add primary data on impact, and a large sample, to increase the research representativeness. To do so, we present the results of 353 interviews, covering 33 municipalities in five states of the Center-South region of Brazil (the largest cultivation area in the country). The results show that the expansion of biofuels has generated conflict mostly related to environmental and social issues, although there is good acceptance of the sugarcane mills in general. Our conclusions point to the importance of including local voices for a deeper understanding of the advantages and limitations of the expansion of biofuels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-162
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Economic impact
  • Environmental impact
  • Social impact
  • Stakeholders' perceptions
  • Sugarcane expansion


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