Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)
 


Will the growing demand for biofuels lead to food crisis?
Centre for Agricultural Research and Development (CARD); Bunda College of Agriculture (University of Malawi); Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis network (FANRPAN)
27 November 2007
Charles BL Jumbe
Centre for Agricultural Research and Development (CARD); Bunda College of Agriculture (University of Malawi); Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis network (FANRPAN)


What is "fuel vs. food" debate about?

The effects of moving "TOO FAST" and the cost of "INACTION"

  • Brazil has set targets that all diesel contain 2% biodiesel by 2008 & 5% by 2013


  • America has an aggressive scheme to replace 15% of the petrol-powered cars with "green-fuel" vehicles
    • AIM: By 2020, to reduce petrol consumption by 20%

  • The EU Directive sets a 5.75% biofuels share in all transport fuel by 2010


  • ASIA-China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia & India have also set mandatory blending targets


  • AFRICA A little slow & sceptical??
    • A few countries have mandatory targets (South Africa, Malawi)
Moving too fast: Implications

  • Across the US, 20% of the whole maize crop went to ethanol in 2006,
    • BUT contributed only 2% of automobile fuel use

  • An extra 80 mn. acres (36 mn ha) of land will be required if maize ethanol alone will be used to meet the US target
    • Eliminating gasoline use entirely in USA will require doubling the current 450 mn. acres (200 mn ha) of available for crop production- making it infeasible!
    • China will need 22.7 mn. metric tonnes of biofuels to blend 10% biofuel into all Chinese cars by 2020
    • Japan will need 6 bn. litres of ethanol every year to meet the blend ratio of only 3% biofuels
    • EU Directive - about 18.6 mn. tons of oil equivalent of biofuels will be required to meet the 5.75 target
    • The big question: How will these targets achieved?
      • Africa?

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