There are great opportunities for biofuel production to be employed productively for rural development in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet many risks must be overcome if these opportunities are to be exploited successfully.
The nucleus outgrower model appears the most suitable form of organisation for reconciling risks and benefits to smallholders and large-scale producers. Across the board, regulatory, research and advisory capacity must be built in the countries and regions concerned.
Support is also needed for private stakeholders and affected groups, especially the most disadvantaged, if the potential for biofuel production is truly to be harnessed for rural development. The necessary incentives and funds are perhaps easier to create in the energy sector than in other sectors: for example by taxing fossil fuels, applying export duties and reducing expenditure on energy imports, including oil.
Dr Michael Brüntrup
German Development Institute (DIE)
Capacity Building International
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ)
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)