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Page added on July 24, 2010

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Africa Can Grow Biofuel Crops Without Harming Food, Habitats, Study Shows

Alternative Energy

Africa can grow biofuel crops on a “significant scale” without damaging food production or natural habitats, researchers said.

A study of biofuel production in Senegal, Mali, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Mozambique found enough land is available to “significantly” raise cultivation of sugar cane, sorghum and jatropha for energy production without reducing food output, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, or FARA, said in a statement today.

In less developed African countries, yields may be tripled by “improved management practices,” potentially freeing up land for energy crops, the researchers said. Farmers in Nigeria produce about 1.8 metric tons of corn a hectare (2.47 acres), less than half the world average and under a fifth of U.S. yields, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Biofuel production may prompt investments “that could help unlock Africa’s latent potential and positively increase food production,” Rocio Diaz-Chavez, a research fellow at Imperial College London who led the study, said in the statement.


One Comment on "Africa Can Grow Biofuel Crops Without Harming Food, Habitats, Study Shows"

  1. kenz300 on Sun, 25th Jul 2010 11:19 pm 

    Africa needs to look to sustainable food and energy production. Wind, solar, biofuels and sustainable food production can all be compatible.

    A sustainable economy will provide the foundation for long term development of the economy.

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