A new report from Oxfam rightfully raises concerns about the potential effects of unmitigated commodity speculation, escalating oil prices, underinvestment in agriculture technology, and climate change on future world food supplies.
But the report misses the mark when it makes unsupported claims about the effect of biofuels on global food supplies.
Global biofuels production is a means to enhancing global food security and tackling problems of climate change. According to an UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report released just last week, “…investment in bioenergy could spark much-needed investment in agricultural and transport infrastructure in rural areas and, by creating jobs and boosting household incomes, could alleviate poverty and food security.”
“American ethanol production has helped spur needed investment and research into dramatic advances in farming technology that have allowed U.S. farmers to double their production on the same amount of land from a generation ago,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen.
“The same opportunities at varying scales are available to farm communities in developing nations. Together with improved farming technologies, local biofuels production can provide developing rural economies