Agricultural Research for Development in the Tropics: Caught between Energy Demands and Food Needs

Folkard Asch, Christian Huelsebusch


We have shown in this analysis, that there is no easy answer to the question: is biofuel out competing food production for natural resources. We feel that when addressing this issue future discussions need to include a broader view on the global consequences of regional and national actions. It is necessary to base decisions not on short-term political or economic arguments but on the long term balance for resources and environmental health, both providing the basis for the livelihood of future generations. Therefore, efforts must be made to calculate the real carbon balance and water foot prints for every item and process involved in the production chains and base decisions on the least detrimental approach to crop and energy production and not on the most economical, which basically means cheapest by today’s definition.


biofuels; food demand; energy resources; greenhouse gas emissions

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