Abstract for: Effects of a Biofuels Economy on Maize Production in Ethiopia

This paper and the attached model present a framework with which to examine the impact of the introduction of a biofuels economy on the agricultural systems of developing African countries. Africa represents an enormous opportunity for agricultural development and production, but the continent has been historically plagued with price volatility, low yields, and poor infrastructure. It has been proposed that the introduction of a biofuels market into developing countries could produce numerous positive externalities, including the acceleration of agricultural technology and increased food security. This model incorporates various factors involved in the production, storage, and utilization of maize in Ethiopia, including basic supply/demand dynamics and export criteria, to illustrate the effects a biofuels market may have on a local maize market. In particular, we examine the qualitative impacts of increased transportation infrastructure and agricultural technologies on the Ethiopian maize production and utilization. While this model is a preliminary one, simulation results indicate that reducing transportation costs and increasing yields may allow for excess production and eventual export of Maize, increasing production and price stability into the region while still meeting local demand. Word Count: 2,788