Research Topics in Agricultural and Applied Economics

Volume: 3

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The aim of this e-book series is to publish high quality economic research in agricultural and applied economics. It particularly fosters quantitative studies which make original contribution on ...
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Energy Crops Situation in Castile and Leon: Incentives and Barriers to Success

Pp. 70-93 (24)

Rita Robles and Luigi Vannini


Over the last few years, a number of events have produced deep change in Spanish agriculture. The agreements ensuring from the negotiations within the World Trade Organization (WTO), the new exigencies of the demand for reducing the surpluses of certain food and feed crops (cereals, oil-seeds, sugar beet…) and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) expenses, the reform of CAP and the different Common Markets Organizations (CMO’s), along with the vocation to produce (greatly influenced by geo-climatic factors), have led to a deep and long-lasting crisis of the sector in many important agricultural regions in Spain, as is the case in Castile and Leon. This crisis implies depopulation and alteration of the population structure and the rural environment, with subsequent environmental, socio-cultural and territorial consequences. Within this framework, energy crops are one of the scarce local productive orientations which could allow Castile and Leon farmers to produce an output demanded by the markets. This paper examines the current situation and the possibilities of development for this sector, using the Rural Rapid Appraisal (RRA) and Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) methods, in order to identify and assess the profitability of the main energy crops as well as the technical, socio-cultural, political and economic barriers for introducing these crops in the local productive farming sector. The study also provides an evaluation of the last energy and CAP measures and an outlook for future market developments and policy recommendations.


Energy crops, supply and demand analysis, production costs, CAP.


Department of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering, University of Leon, 24071 Leon, Spain