Agricultural Development Economics
 

Publication

Title
The State of Food and Agriculture 2008
Subtitle
Biofuels: prospects, risks and opportunities
Author
FAO
Publication date
15/02/2008
Abstract
The State of Food and Agriculture 2008 explores the implications of the rapid recent growth in production of biofuels based on agricultural commodities. The boom in liquid biofuels has been largely induced by policies in developed countries, based on their expected positive contributions to climate-change mitigation, energy security and agricultural development. The growing demand for agricultural commodities for the production of biofuels is having significant repercussions on agricultural markets, and concerns are mounting over their negative impact on the food security of millions of people across the world. At the same time, the environmental impacts of biofuels are also coming under closer scrutiny. But biofuels also offer the opportunity for agricultural and rural development – if appropriate policies and investments are put in place. This report reviews the current state of the debate and the available evidence on these critical questions. It finds that concerted efforts to reform policies and invest in agriculture will be essential if the risks associated with biofuels are to be reduced, and the opportunities more widely shared.