Energy crisis and climate change have generated global demands for alternative non-fossil fuel sources. This has led to a rapid increase of investments in production of liquid biofuels based on agricultural feed stocks such as sugar cane. Most African governments see biofuels as a potential for increasing agricultural productivity and export incomes and thus strengthening their national economies, improving energy balances and rural employment. At the same time climate change may be addressed through reduction of green house gas emissions. There are, however, a number of uncertainties mounting that challenge this scenario.
Using in-depth African case studies this book addresses this knowledge gap by examining the impacts of large-scale biofuel production on African agriculture in regard to vital land outsourcing and food security issues. The surge for African biofuels has also opened space for private investors both domestic and external to multiply and network 'independently' of the state. The biofuel expansion thus generates new economic alliances and production relations, resulting in new forms of inclusions and exclusions within the rural population. An essential book for anyone wishing to understand the startling impact of biofuels and land outsourcing on Africa.
'This is a most welcome and timely addition to the growing literature on biofuels. It comprises an interesting mix of country (Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana) and broad studies, which raises serious concerns about the future of African smallholder farmers, usefully critiques the famous Brazilian biofuels 'success story', and makes a strong and surely unanswerable case for increased African intellectual engagement in this disturbing and highly dangerous field.' - Robin Palmer, Mokoro Ltd, Oxford, formerly Global Land Adviser, Oxfam GB 'A timely set of probes into one of Africa's burning issues. It assembles concrete findings of why and how the continent's land resources are being packaged in new forms and served up to outside corporations and sovereign funds to be used to meet the latest scarcities of fuel and food of developed and emerging countries - and how these processes are at the expense of food security in Africa and of the rights and livelihoods of its farmers' - Lionel Cliffe, Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds. 'Biofuels, Land Grabbing and Food Security in Africa' represents the most substantial collection of research to date on the implications of global investment for the local poor.' - Professor James Smith, University of Edinburgh
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