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The State of Food and Agriculture 2008 surveys the current status of the biofuel debate, exploring implications for food security, the environment and agricultural development in developing countries. It addresses the biophysical and economic potential of 1st and 2nd generation biofuels, global and local environmental impacts, agricultural commodity prices impacts, and implications for agricultural development, poverty and hunger. It also explores policy options to ensure positive outcomes for people and the environment.
Can biofuels help achieve energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote rural development? Do biofuels threaten land, water, biodiversity, and food security?
Only a few years ago, liquid biofuels were widely hailed as 'green gold' - a resource that could mitigate global climate change, promote energy security, and support agricultural producers around the world. Since then, agricultural commodity prices have risen rapidly, and concerns have emerged regarding the full environmental impacts of producing biofuels from an already overburdened agricultural resource base. The report also contains an overview of the current global agricultural situation, including data on agricultural production, food consumption and agricultural trade.