Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rush for land a wake-up call : 40% for biofuels

... Over the last year a number of reports have focused on cases of foreign investors "grabbing" large tracts of land in poor African countries to grow cheap food for their own populations. But, according to a study published by the ILC on Wednesday, rich national investors play a much larger role than previously thought, food is not the main focus of these deals, and African governments are not the only ones signing away large tracts of land.

Data collected by researchers show that around 40% of land acquired over the last decade is intended for biofuel production. In comparison, 25% is for food crops and another 27% for mining, tourism, industry and forestry. But the focus of land deals also varies by region: In Africa, 66% of land deals cross-referenced by researchers are intended for biofuel production, compared with 15% for food crops. Meanwhile, food production seems more significant in Latin America (27%), along with mineral extraction (23%).  ...

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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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