Palm oil, being a sought-after raw material for the biofuel industry, is also an interesting source of income for farmers in the South.
Photo: GIZ/W. Jarupun


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Over the last two years, numerous countries have begun to develop more or less comprehensive bioeconomy strategies. The following article looks at the differences between the various concepts and, in particular, the role that they assign to food security.

Published in 2009, the OECD strategy “The Bioeconomy to 2030: Designing a Policy Agenda” gave an important stimulus to the development of national and regional bioeconomy strategies. In 2010, Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research published “The National Research Strategy BioEconomy: Our Route Towards a Bio-based Economy”, which was then complemented in 2013 by Germany’s “National Policy Strategy on Bioeconomy”. In 2012, the European Commission issued its Communication on “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: A Bioeconomy for Europe”, while the USA published its National Bioeconomy Blueprint in the same year. There are many more countries that have since then come up with bioeconomy strategies

What do we mean by “bioeconomy”?
The strategies use either the terms “bioeconomy” or “bio-based economy”,
and these terms are often used interchangeably. Bioeconomy is characterised by economic activities deriving from scientific and research activities that are linked to different forms of biotechnology. It turns life science knowledge, meaning the scientific study of living organisms, into sustainable, eco-efficient and competitive products.

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