Most of Peru´s arable land is in the coastal region, where the bulk of commercial irrigated agricultural production takes place in the river valleys, while in the Andean region agriculture is largely subsistence. In the jungle, agricultural development is relatively limited. 

Food insecurity in the country is mainly associated with limited availability of farming land and low productivity, low levels of income and inadequate use of food by the population. The key staple crops in Peru are rice, maize, wheat and potatoes.

Consumption trends indicate that energy comes mainly from petroleum and natural gas. Energy access is still problematic, with as much as 33 percent of the population (concentrated mainly the rural areas of the Andean and jungle regions) without access to electricity.  

Peru has already enacted national bioenergy-related policies and strategies, including blending mandates for both biodiesel (from 2 percent in 2009 to 5 percent from 2011 onwards) and bioethanol (7.8 percent from 2011 onwards). The main bioenergy feedstocks are sugarcane for bioethanol and palm oil and jatropha for biodiesel. In addition, an initiative to promote electricity generation from solid biomass was enacted in 2009. 


Peru is divided into three regions with very different agro-climatic and topographic conditions. Bioenergy development would thus have different implications depending on where it takes place. For example, the use of available arid land in the coastal region to cultivate sugarcane for bioethanol could put pressure on already scarce water resources and compete with other uses of these resources, including food production. These regional differences should be duly considered when agricultural/bioenergy policies are developed.  

Agriculture plays a critical role in supporting the livelihoods of the very poor in Peru. There are concerns that biofuel development may bypass the poor. A key objective of the BEFS analysis was to understand how to integrate smallholders in the bioenergy supply chains in a cost-effective manner, in order to ensure a positive impact on rural development and poverty reduction.  

The use of alternative energy sources for rural electrification using residues from agriculture and forestry was analysed as well.   


BEFS played a key role in strengthening the institutional and cross sectoral dialogue in the country. In particular, BEFS facilitated the creation of a Multisectorial Commission to support an effective communication across the agricultural, energy and industrial sectors and a more coordinated approach to bioenergy development in the country.  

The results of BEFS helped inform the national debate on how the different bioenergy policies could be met in a sustainable manner and without affecting food security. The key findings indicate that:

  • Water is essential in the coastal areas and water availability needs to be carefully considered in the context of land use planning.
  • There is existing biomass potential for bioenergy in the jungle and better policy support is needed in order to sustainably exploit this potential.
  • In the Andes there is high demand for bioenergy, yet there is limited potential for bioenergy development. Therefore, alternative options for energy provision need to be considered. 
  • Including smallholders in the supply chain can, under some conditions, be competitive with production systems that are purely large scale. 
  • The price of rice and wheat should be monitored closely since price increases impact on all poor groups of the population. Monitoring maize price increases is important for the urban poor.

Training was provided to build in-country capacity to use the BEFS tools, so that the analysis could be repeated in the future in order to reflect prevailing policy priorities and  inform potential policy adjustments as the bioenergy sector evolves.



In May 2009, a Vice ministerial meeting was held in Lima, Peru to discuss the BEFS Project. Attending the meeting were:

  • Mr. Edgar Auberto Quispe Remón, Viceminister Micro and Small and Industry (Ministry of Production);
  • Ing. Vanessa Vereau Ladd, Viceminister Natural Resoruces Development (Ministry of Environment);
  • Mr. Daniel Cámac Gutiérrez, Viceminister Energy (Ministry of Energy and Mines); and
  • Mr. José Sialer Pasco, Viceminister of Agriculture (Ministry of Agriculture).

The objective was to present the BEFS work plan in the country for 2009-2010 and to petition the establishment of a Multisectorial Bioenergy Commission to support implementation of project activities and oversee national bioenergy development in the country. The Vice ministers agreed to constitute the Multisectorial Bioenergy Commission, which will include participation of the four ministries.

  • For a copy of the decree (in Spanish) click here.

In February 2010, a roundtable of senior personnel from key ministries was held in Lima, Peru to discuss how BEFS tools provides a powerful mechanism for directing rural development policies related to bioenergy potentials.

For more information, read the press release (in Spanish)

In April 2010 a series of weekly thematic technical seminars were held to present the technical results from the BEFS works to feedback the completion of the technical work. The seminars dealt with the following subjects:

  • water,
  • biomass residues,
  • land suitability analysis and
  • socioeconomic analysis and policy.

On 5 May 2010, FAO and BEFS held a national consultation in Lima, Peru with the participation of 30 senior officials from the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture, Energy and Mines, as well as representatives from civil society and private sector institutions in the energy sector. During the consultation, participants discussed the policy conclusions arising from the seven technical components of the BEFS analysis:

  • agriculture markets outlook in Peru,
  • land suitability for production of bioenergy crops,
  • water resources management,
  • biomass resources from residues,
  • biofuel production cost,
  • economy-wide effects and
  • Household-level Food Security.

The results of the analysis strongly support the view that it is the management and structure of the sector that is vital to ensure that gains are maximized and risks are minimized as far as possible. For more details, consult the information note.

On the 22rd and 23rd of February 2012 in Lima, in collaboration with Peru's Comisión Multisectorial de Bioenergía, FAO organized a discussion of bioenergy development and food security implications among stakeholders from each of the regions in the country. The event included presentations from various local stakeholders on the status of bioenergy development and impacts on food security; followed by presentations by FAO on the Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) analysis carried out in Peru and the Bioenergy and Food Security Criteria and Indicators (BEFSCI) tools, guidance, and case studies. For more information, please see:


last updated:  Wednesday, April 2, 2014