Potential impacts of biofuel development on food security in Botswana: A contribution to energy policy
Kgathi, Donald, L.
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Biofuel development continues to be a critical development strategy in Africa because it promises to be an important part of the emerging bio-economy. However, there is a growing concern that the pattern of biofuel development is not always consistent with the principles of sustainable development. This paper assesses the potential of the impacts of biofuel development on food security in Botswana. Drawing on informal and semi-structured interviews, the paper concludes that there is potential for the development of biofuels in Botswana without adverse effects on food security due mainly to availability of idle land which accounted for 72% of agricultural land in the eastern part of the country in 2008. It is suggested that farmers could be incentivized to produce energy crops and more food from such land. Although it is hypothesized that the implementation of biofuel development programmes in other countries had an impact on local commodity prices during the period 2005–2008 in Botswana, it is argued that local biofuel production may not necessarily lead to a substantial increase in commodity food prices because land availability is not a major issue. The paper makes policy recommendations for sustainable biofuel development in Botswana.
- Research articles (ORI)