Tag Archives: biofuels

Africa Is Being Exploited By Industrial Powers

Industralized nations are engaged in massive efforts to use biofuels in their battle against powerful oil rich societies. As the need for land to produce crops that will create energy grows more intense, their eyes increasingly are gazing toward Africa. Tanzania is inviting many nations to buy up its lands to plant crops. A German company recently purchased an area of land equal to the nation of Luxembourg while British, US, Swedish, Canadian and others are buying up farm land. Malawi and Zambia are also targets of companies seeking land. Of course, these companies will be creating huge farms run by a staff hired by companies. What happens to farmers who live in these regions? Will they and their families share in the wealth that is being produced? Local interests are rarely considered by African governments in making these decisions.

In fairness, most companies coming into these African nations are promising to build roads and schools and hospitals, but for local residents, land and jobs are dominant concerns. Of course, a company farm can out produce local farmers and make it difficult to compete in an international arena of biofuels. Frequently lost in agreements is the issue of water. Company farms need extensive supplies of water and in many African areas, water means life. To what extent are water needs factored into these agreements?

Report Claims Biofuels Responsible For Food Price Rise

A new report argues the use of plant derived fuels has played a major role in witnessing dramatic rises in the prices of food. The World Bank report believes the use of biofuels has been a major factor in a rise of 75% in food costs such as bread, corn, etc… According to the Guardian, the World Bank report has not been made public to avoid angering Bush since it contradicts his claim that biofuels are only responsible for about a 3% increase in prices. To reveal their conclusion, said a source, “would put the World Bank on a political hot spot with the white House.”

There is evidence the impact of biofuels on food prices is not being made public to prevent possible antagonism for use of plant-derived fuels. Robert Baily, of Oxfam, believes “political leaders are intent”on suppressing this information.

Brazil has mainly used sugarcane in making its fuel, a crop which is not critically important to the diet of people. Perhaps, it is time to restrict use of fuels made from plants to a group of plants.