FAMU sparks new project in Agribusiness


Gasoline is a necessity for everyone to get around, but when it comes down to choosing a gas station to fuel the tank, where should people go?


Florida A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Food Science held an agribusiness seminar entitled, “Complement or Substitute,” on Friday at the Perry Paige Auditorium.


The event was held to inform the public about the substitution effect, which is an economic understanding for consumers when fuel prices increase or decrease.


Deepayan Debnath, Ph.D., an international market and policy analyst in the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri (FAPRI-MU), said they are looking for quality research that is applicable for the Agribusiness Program at FAMU in the areas of agricultural economics and marketing.


The director of agribusiness, Daniel Solis, Ph.D., shared his excitement about having Debnath apart of the program.   


“Dr. Debnath can help expand the research conducted in the Agribusiness program in the areas of energy and environmental economics,” said Solis.


Ethanol is used as a gasoline substitute while consumers’ tax money goes towards gasoline. The current average cost for gas is $2.38 per gallon and the relationship between crude oil and the ethanol price is complex. For instance, high crude oil prices are substitutes. On the other hand, low crude oil prices are complementary.  


Two models were used to demonstrate how the substitution of gasoline and ethanol effects developed are the structural economic multi-market equilibrium and a multi-region partial equilibrium. Policy scenarios are used to identify how crude oil prices interacts with ethanol. It traces the consequences on the U.S. Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market.


Winslow Jones Jr., a third year environmental studies student from Lake Wales, Fla. was pleased to be informed about what attributes Debnath can bring to the program.


Jones said, “I enjoyed the presentation, I am aware of the petroleum prices and how much they can affect our culture.”


Debnath’s future contributions to the department will include but not be limited to a small business development center, study abroad programs, and a water quality center.


For more information contact Dr. Daniel Solis Ph.D. at Daniel.Solis@famu.edu.