Asia-Pacific nations urged to study biofuels more carefully

Sep 20, 2007

The nations of Asia and the Pacific are being urged to study the issue of biofuels with greater care before deciding on how they will use their agricultural products to generate energy.

Scientists say there is an urgent need to support the current rush toward major decisions on biofuel policies in Asia and the Pacific with solid research and unbiased information about their potential benefits, impact, and risks.

This appeal was issued at the end of a recent Expert Consultation on Biofuels organized by the Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) together with the Philippine-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in India, the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico. The consultation was held at IRRI’s headquarters in Los Baños, Philippines, on August 27-29.

“There’s no doubt biofuels will have an impact on agriculture in Asia and the Pacific and present some very interesting new opportunities,” APAARI’s executive secretary, R.S. Paroda, said. “But we need to be absolutely sure this will not affect the region’s food security and its continuing efforts to alleviate poverty.”

In the Asian region, both China and India are gearing up for substantial investments in biofuels. Malaysia and Indonesia are investing heavily in oil palm plantations for biodiesel production. The Philippines has mandated the blending of gasoline with 5 percent biofuel.

However, at the same time, countries such as China have currently banned the use of maize – a vital food crop for national food and feed security – as biofuel.

The consultation focused on important issues such as (i) how bioenergy production may have an impact on global and regional food security, (ii) understanding bioenergy options for key crops and cropping systems in Asia, (iii) identifying research priorities for designing and evaluating integrated food-bioenergy production systems, and (iv) developing a framework for research on biofuels in key agricultural systems of Asia.

Source: International Rice Research Institute

Explore further: UN sends team to clean up Bangladesh oil spill

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Changing diets favour meat and milk producers: FAO

Jul 11, 2014

The UN food agency FAO on Friday predicted that global farming will move increasingly towards meat and milk production and away from traditional rice and grain agriculture in line with changing consumer tastes.

Focus on local sushi ingredients

Feb 03, 2014

Sushi is more popular than ever. However, many of the ingredients are imported from Asia. But Norwegian researchers are now cultivating an alternative to the popular Wakame seaweed salad that doesn't have ...

Recommended for you

UN sends team to clean up Bangladesh oil spill

2 hours ago

The United Nations said Thursday it has sent a team of international experts to Bangladesh to help clean up the world's largest mangrove forest, more than a week after it was hit by a huge oil spill.

How will climate change transform agriculture?

2 hours ago

Climate change impacts will require major but very uncertain transformations of global agriculture systems by mid-century, according to new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Report: Radiation leak at nuclear dump was small

2 hours ago

A final report by independent researchers shows the radiation leak from the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico was small and localized.

Confucian thought and China's environmental dilemmas

7 hours ago

Conventional wisdom holds that China - the world's most populous country - is an inveterate polluter, that it puts economic goals above conservation in every instance. So China's recent moves toward an apparent ...

Deforestation threatens species richness in streams

7 hours ago

With a population of 1.3 billion, China is under immense pressure to convert suitable areas into arable land in order to ensure a continued food supply for its people. Accordingly, China is among the top ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.