Disputes Lurk behind Biofuel Projects — Study
(The Citizen Reporter) Tanzania urgently needs to put in place a policy framework to guide biofuel crops production and stave off the danger of serious food shortages in communities around biofuel plantations, a new study has warned.
“The government of is on the forefront encouraging the production of biofuels. However, there is no policy and regulatory framework to guide investment decisions on such production in the country,” says ActionAid, an international non-governmental agency advocating for poverty reduction.
…According to the study, land conflicts, food shortages and social upheavals were some of critical issues that the villagers had to grapple with in a vacuum of a specific policy to guide the biofuel industry.
…“Such impacts involve displacement of people, loss of property, creation of pressure on land resources and other social tensions,” ActionAid said in the report.
Despite the negative consequences of biofuel crops, the international agency noted that there were benefits as well and suggested that the new industry should not be abandoned altogether.
For safeguarding land rights of smallholder farmers, the Ngo suggested that foreign investors should only be tasked to ensure value addition during crop processing, while actual production of biofuel feed stocks should be restricted to small farmers contracted by investors. READ MORE