« This Week's Edition of the Global Food for Thought News Brief | Main | This Week's Edition of the Global Food for Thought News Brief »

Friday, February 18, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Maybe the agricultual policies of most african governments have most to do with the situation.
AID without sturctural change is meaningless.

During budget crises, Europe and the U.S. may find it easier to eliminate biofuel programs rather than increase foreign aid. This also would provide much larger and quicker response to the urban food crisis in poor countries. The U.S. burns about 40 percent of its corn crop, while Europe and Brazil, the two other largest producers of key crops, burn biofuels on a similar scale.

Unfortunately, the Federal bureaucracy is charging ahead in the wrong direction. EPA just raised the limit for mixing ethanol with gasoline from 10% to 15%, ignoring the food crisis. And the Department of Energy invests immense amounts of money on research aimed at producing biobutanol and other biofuels that would get around this “blend wall” entirely. If they succeed, and if the price of oil remains high, our entire corn crop could easily become a biofuel.

Europe’s vegetable oil fuels require large subsidies, so eliminating their biofuel mandates and subsidies solves the budget, hunger, inflation, and political unrest problems that Europe is causing. In the U.S., eliminating the biofuel subsidy only addresses the budget problem because corn ethanol is competitive with oil at today’s oil prices, even without the subsidy. The U.S. would need to cap the use of food for fuel or allow states to do so. Fortunately, over 99 percent of Americans are not crop farmers, and we prefer lower grocery bills. It is just a matter of overcoming special interest politics.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About the Blog

The Global Food for Thought blog, twitter feed, and facebook wall, provide updated information, commentary, and analysis on breaking developments on international agriculture, food, and related issues.

The Chicago Council and the Global Agricultural Development Initiative do not endorse the opinions expressed in this blog, twitter, and facebook but merely provide a forum for this information, commentary, and debate.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


1,000 Days Blog

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Notes, Bread for the World Institute

IGD Blog, Initiative for Global Development

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

FAO Washington Blog, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Field Focus Blog, Landesa

Food Tank Blog, Food Tank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

The Global Food Banking Network

Harvest 2050, Global Harvest Initiative

The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

International Food Policy Research Institute News

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

Nourishing the Planet Blog, Worldwatch Institute

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog

Oxfam America Blog

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

Trickle Up Blog, Trickle Up

We Have Decided

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA