Biofuels must not affect food production

Biomass & Bioenergy – José Graziano da Silva, the Director of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that the United Nations (UN) has yet to study the situation of countries interested in producing biofuels. According to him, the production must not affect the nation’s food security.

The cultivation of biofuels is a controversial topic since its production may cause loss of cultivatable lands and decrease food production. Graziano pointed in an interview to UN Radio, a study by the Economic Commission for the region, CEPAL, made in Latin America, about the impact of ethanol production.

“We need, case by case, to see that countries may or may not produce biofuels without affecting food security, because its must all times take priority. In the Latin American case, we made a detailed study and concluded that only four countries in the region may expand biofuels production without risking food security. They are: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay, is also a major grain producer. ”

José Graziano explained that not every biofuels are harmful. The produced by sugarcane, made in Brazil, is sustainable. However, the corn-based biofuels, and produced widely in the U.S. is the most worries to FAO.
“There are biofuels that impact on food security and biofuels that, in addition to not impact on food security, can generate new sources of income for farmers in developing countries.”

With the ending of subsidies for U.S. producers, the Director hopes that the production of biofuels harmful to the environment, to decrease in the coming years.

Source: Biomass & Bioenergy. January 9th, 2012
Click here to read the complete version of this article published in Portuguese
Translated by Gilberto Silber Schmidt
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One response to “Biofuels must not affect food production

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