Biofuels have come to be regarded as an important option for reducing consumption of petroleum, a policy goal resulting from recent high oil prices, energy security concerns, and climate change. In Africa this interest is reflected in the rapid expansion of biofuel markets, increased private and public funding, and support for incorporating biofuels into government policies and development plans.

IIED have produced a series of landmark reports showing how various potential threats and opportunities from biofuels expansion are playing out in reality. View IIED’s on-line Biofuels – Africa focus http://www.iied.org/sustainable-markets/key-issues/energy/biofuels-africa-focus here]

Their latest publication on biofuels focusses on Mozambique:

Biofuels, land access and rural livelihoods in Mozambique

In recent years, global demand for biofuels has increased as a result of changing oil prices coupled with concerns over energy security and climate change. In Mozambique, private investors have expressed growing interest in biofuel production. While this trend may create new livelihood opportunities, it may also undermine access to land and natural resources for rural people.

This report explores the early impacts of the biofuels boom on access to land and on local livelihoods in Mozambique. It draws on fieldwork on biofuel projects representing different business models for agricultural production.

Read more here

Other publications also featured:

Biofuels, land access and rural livelihoods in Tanzania

Private and public sources of financial support for biofuels development have increased greatly. For African countries, this is leading to growing interest from western and Asian private investors in biofuels projects, as well as growing support from development partners for incorporating biofuels into government policies and development plans.

For African non-oil producing countries, biofuel production has the potential to provide a substitute for costly oil imports, one of the major uses of foreign exchange and sources of inflation in African economies, and to provide a new source of agricultural income in rural areas.

Read more here

Biofuels in Africa: growing small-scale opportunities

Global demand is driving vast commercial biofuels projects in developing countries. At the opposite end of the spectrum is small-scale bioenergy production. This offers a way for the poor to meet their energy needs and diversify their livelihoods without compromising food security or environmental integrity. Governments hope that it will be possible to combine the advantages of both large- and small-scale production of biofuels to generate energy security and GDP at the national level, while opening up local opportunities.

Read more here

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