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Biofuels and Food Security Pavia 23 April 2009. What are Biofuels ? Biofuels are fossil fuel substitutes that can be made from a range of agricultural.

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Presentation on theme: "Biofuels and Food Security Pavia 23 April 2009. What are Biofuels ? Biofuels are fossil fuel substitutes that can be made from a range of agricultural."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biofuels and Food Security Pavia 23 April 2009

2 What are Biofuels ? Biofuels are fossil fuel substitutes that can be made from a range of agricultural crops and other sources of biomass. The two most common current Biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel.

3 Why Biofuels have become a key issue?  Energy security (increasing oil prices, need for alternative source of energy)  To decrease greenhouse gas emission  To promote rural development


5 DIMENSIONS OF FOOD SECURITY AND BIOFUELS: 1. AVAILABILITY OF FOOD Vs. BIOFUELS  Production of genetically modified crops (non-edible) will be encouraged, aimed to biofuels industry instead of food consumption.  There will be a decrease of food import capacity, specially in the poorest countries due to increase of prices  Decrease of food aid is expected since cereal stocks will be diverted towards biofuels production


7 DIMENSIONS OF FOOD SECURITY AND BIOFUELS: 2. ACCESS TO FOOD VS. BIOFUELS  Biofuels production causes increase of food prices due to increasing demand for agricultural products.  Current influence of biofuel on food prices ranges between 3% to 30 %  Future trend: biofuels will push prices 12 – 15 % by 2017 (OECD-FAO)

8 DIMENSIONS OF FOOD SECURITY AND BIOFUELS: 3. STABILITY OF SUPPLY AND ACCESS TO FOOD VS.BIOFUELS  Food and fuel crops compete for land and water resources, increasing their price.  Increase of the price of land leads towards its concentration. Therefore, small farmers turn to be waged workers and lose their food sovereignty.  Subsidies and tariffs on biofuels affect stability and access to food, and cause distortions in food prices.

9 DIMENSIONS OF FOOD SECURITY AND BIOFUELS: 4. FOOD UTILIZATION VS. BIOFUELS  Increase in demand of fuel crops may lead to a lower food quality and diversity, threatenning the nutrition of people.  Water availability for human consumption will be threatenned: - Producing one gallon of corn ethanol requires the consumption of 170 gallons of water. - Producing one gallon of soybean-based biodiesel requires the consumption of 900 gallons of water. *

10 Gov. Of developed countries BIOFUELS Universities & research institutes FAO & Int. Organizations Corporations Peasants from developing countires Farmers & consumers from developed countries MAIN STAKE HOLDERS POSITION REGARDING BIOFUELS

11 GOVERNMENT POLICIES STIMULATING BIOFUEL PRODUCTION IN THE DEVELOPED COUNTRIES:  Financial incentives Tax incentives Import quotas and tariffs Subsidies  Consumption incentives: Requirements of blending Biofuels with fossil fuels are often introduced EU: 10% of ethanol should be blended with petrol by year 2020  Policies encouraging Research and development in Biofuels

12 BIOFUELS POLICIES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES ( BRAZIL)  Significant experience in the area of biofuels : Ethanol as a transport fuel  Blending Brazilian sugar cane with petrol to produce fuels Required percent is 22 – 25% of ethanol to be blended with petrol.  Financial incentives  Temporary subsidies were provided and were abolished in 2002  Nowadays current bioenergy policies are guided by the Federal Government. Its goal is to ensure competitiveness and social inclusion.

13 RISKS OF SUPPROTING POLICIES FOR BIOFUELS: Biofuels support policies in OECD countries are costly The impact of Biofuels policies on Green House Gas emissions is limited Developing countries are highly dependent on imports to meet their food requirements Higher food prices threatens food security of the world’s poor people. Demand on Biofuels is a form of pressure on the natural resources on which poor farmers depend.

14 OPPORTUNITIES: Higher incomes for some farmers in developing countries and better agricultural wages for labor, as long as structural constrains are addressed.

15 BIOFUELS GENERATIONS: 1. FIRST GENERATION BIOFUEL  Biofuel made from sugar, starchy crops, vegetable oil or animal fat using conventional technology.  The starch from the basic feedstocks is fermented into bioethanol, or the vegetable oil through chemical process to biodiesel.  These feedstocks could instead enter the animal or human food chain.  They don’t seem to be more environment friendly than the fossil fuels.



18 BIOFUELS GENERATIONS: 2. SECOND GENERATION BIOFUEL  Second Generation Biofuels come from Woody crops and grasses species (lignocellulosic) Advantages vs 1 st generation:  Increase quantitative potential for biofuel generation per hectare  Grow on poor, degradated soils where food crop production is not optimal (Jatropha).  Less effects on commodity markets

19 2. SECOND GENERATION BIOFUEL Disadvantages:  More of these species can be invasive and have negative impacts on water resources, biodiversity and agriculture  At the moment they are still more expensive than fossil fuels  Still under research and development for a significant commercial scale

20 BIOFUELS GENERATIONS: 3. THIRD GENERATION BIOFUEL The third generation biofuels come from algae, that are low-input, high-yield feedstock to produce Biofuels

21 3. THIRD GENERATION BIOFUEL  30 - 100 times more energy productive and effective  The Biomass leftover from oil pressing can be used for animal feeding and ethanol production  Processing Biofuel from algae can capture large amount of CO2  They are relatively easy to grow, but the algal oil is hard and expensive to extract

22  Biofuels present both opportunities and risks. The results would depend on the specific context of the country and the policies adopted.  Developing countries and International organizations have to commit themselves to apply policies aimed at making food security a priority  Poor farmers from the developing countries are unlikely to receive benefits from higher food prices and are the most likely to be negatively affected. CONCLUSIONS:

23  Biofuels will continue to push up commodity prices, which will have implications for food security and poverty levels in developing countries  Investment in research and development in Second and Third Generation has to be taken in high consideration.

24 Thanks for your attention!  Mery Dongiovanni  Victoria Petro  Carlos Jacome

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