Biofuels, Energy and Agriculture: Powering Towards or Away From Food Security?

Crawford Fund Annual Conference
Aug 15, 2007 - 04:00 am to 04:00 pm UTC

The Crawford Fund’s annual conferences highlight an important aspect of feeding and greening the world.

The future energy demands of rapidly-developing countries, the increasing concerns about the reliability of oil supplies and costs, the climate changes that are likely to result from burning fossil fuels and the certainty that transport will remain a major user of liquid energy sources for many years are key issues in current thinking about future energy supplies. These concerns have led to a dramatic re-assessment of the role of biofuels - liquid fuels including ethanol and biodiesel derived from organic matter.

This year we chose to consider the range of issues for developing countries and for Australia due to this growing interest in biofuels as a partial substitute for fossil fuels and what that may mean for food production and food prices, and to highlight the need for international agricultural research (IAR) to mitigate these downsides and identify options for the sustainable production and use of biofuels.

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