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In addition to the amount of jobs that are created, one has to look at the quality of working conditions with respect to international labor standards.

Competition for land and natural resources can be a concern if in large scale concession farming farmers are evicted from their land without compensation or the compensation is worth much less than the actual value of the land. However, competition for scarce resources does not automatically have to lead to conflict. Processes related to conflict resolution, reconciling competing inter-ests and good governance of land and natural resources should be utilized to ensure transparency and stakeholder communication.

Contract farming/ outgrower schemes on small farms refers to a ‘a system where a central processing or export-ing unit purchases the harvests of independent farmers and the terms of the purchase are arranged in advance through contracts’ (Baumann, 2000). The terms of the contract vary and usually specify how much produce the contractor will buy and what price they will pay for it. The contractor frequently provides credit, inputs and technical advice to the outgrower. This can reduce risks for small producers, increase their access to technology and open up new markets which would otherwise be unavailable to small farmers.

Although this type of scheme can bring several benefits to both the contractor/company and farmers, it can also come with disadvantages. Some of these disadvantages to farmers include: market failure risks and production problems with new crops, manipulation of quotas and not all contracted production is purchased, companies may exploit a monopoly position, and company staff may be corrupt, particularly in allocation of quotas (FAO, 2001b). Although experience shows that it’s easier said than done, many of these potential risks to farmers’ livelihoods can be mitigated by collective action through farmer’s groups, associations, or working with farmer leaders (this would be a more informal approach).

Small-scale schemes are bioenergy processing schemes in which bioenergy is produced locally for local use. An example of this model might be a community

or co-operative that utilizes its own land for growing feedstock and will use the fuel derived to operate small bioenergy equipment to generate energy for local use. Truly satisfying local needs, contributing to poverty reduc-tion and protecting food security is a complex challenge, and finding solutions can be an iterative path that takes time. An important consideration for inclusive develop-ment and sustainability of these schemes is the need to link them to income generating activities as it enables more end-users to afford new energy services.

A crucial risk and concern to the sustainability of these systems is the technical and financial viability of small-scale operations – the major challenge lies in making such schemes affordable, accessible and appropriate to local circumstances and people. However, experience has shown that there are some ingredients essential to success for community-type bioenergy initiatives, some of them being: adopting participatory approaches throughout the project cycle, treating the total supply chain as integral to the project, involving the private sector, and getting the financial mechanisms right.

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