Biofuels in an Age of Cheap Oil: Community Capitals and Motivations to Participate in Biodiesel Value Chains

in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
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In this article we analyze the community capital implications of an emerging canola biofuel value chain within wheat-producing regions of the United States as radical changes are taking place in energy markets and prices drop. We analyze the intersections of the motivations that encourage and sustain value chain participation and stocks and investments of community capitals. We use the Community Capitals Framework (Flora et al. 2016) to analyze the ways that new biofuel value chains affect various types of capital within rural communities, and to understand the context, processes, and impacts of decision-making within the biofuel value chain. Interviews and focus groups with actors along the value chain including farmers, processors, transporters, plant breeders, extension professionals, and farm service suppliers identify motivational factors and how community resources affect participation decisions.

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