Biofuels: still in bloom or cause for gloom?

Developing countries are seeking to expand biofuel feedstock production in order to reduce dependence on expensive oil imports and nurture their nascent agribusiness sectors. The effects of global biofuel development and growth, especially on poor rural households, are likely to be mixed and specific to each farming system and the socio-economic context of each country. Therefore a single appropriate template for policy-making or programme design is unlikely to emerge. Nevertheless, research supports a number of broad recommendations for aspiring producers and advanced markets.

Siwa Msangi
Senior Research Fellow
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Washington, DC, USA
s.msangi(at)cgiar.org