FAO defends biofuels to stimulate economy

LONDON -Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defended investments in biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel this Tuesday (17). According to the entity, "green" biofuels are a form of increasing food security in rural economy countries because they stimulate employment and increase income. "When it is correctly achieved, the development of bioenergy offers the opportunity to encourage investment and employment in areas where people are starving", Heiner Thofern, who manages the project of Bioenergy and Food Security of FAO, asserted.

The position of the entity reinforces the defense on the production of biofuels amidst a debate on the use of rural lands in this sector. The discussion has intensified this year, after the prices of food reach high records in February. Some critics claim that land expansion used for production of biofuels increase the pressure on rural resources. Others claim that the initiative may encourage the deforestation in developing countries, releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than what is compensated by the burn of ethanol or biodiesel. Therefore, FAO asserted that, once managed with responsibility, the production of biofuels might really trigger investments which are necessary in infra-structure and transportation in rural areas. Heiner Thofern mentioned the increase in potential exportation markets like Europe for bioenergy products, what would provide new business opportunities to developing countries. In order to help the governments to evaluate the feasibility of bioenergy development and the impacts on the availability of food, FAO developed a structure to help policy decision makers to assess the pros and cons of the sector. "Our objective is to help them to make adequate decisions on whether or not the development of bioenergy is a feasible option", Thofern asserted.

Source: Estadão