Pro Farmer Editors
The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says biofuel
policies and subsidies should be "urgently" reviewed in order to preserve
the goal of world food security, protect poor farmers, promote broad-based rural
development and ensure environmental sustainability.
details from FAO.
Biofuels present both opportunities and risks. The outcome would depend
on the specific context of the country and the policies adopted, said
FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. Current policies tend to favor producers
in some developed countries over producers in most developing countries. The
challenge is to reduce or manage the risks while sharing the opportunities
Biofuel production based on agricultural commodities increased more
than threefold from 2000 to 2007, and now covers nearly two percent of the worlds
consumption of transport fuels, says the FAO. The growth is expected to continue,
but the contribution of liquid biofuels (mostly ethanol and biodiesel) to transport
energy, and even more so, to global energy use will remain limited, they add.
Despite the limited importance of liquid biofuels in terms of global energy
supply, the demand for agricultural feedstocks (sugar, maize, oilseeds) for
liquid biofuels will continue to grow over the next decade and perhaps beyond,
putting upward pressure on food prices, says FAO.