Monday, May 3, 2010


The raging debate regarding the policies now being pursued by some countries in diverting food materials for biofuel production doe not seem to be abating with no consensus emerging amongst the stake holders interested in maintaining equity and justice in this planet. While rich and prosperous countries with access to more than abundant foods at their door steps are more concerned about sustainable fuel sources, those under- privileged nations are facing the daunting task of keeping the stomach of their population at least half full to prevent catastrophic and permanent damage to their health. Ethics, morality, humane considerations and universal fellowship demand sharing of the pleasure as well as the sufferings amongst people on this earth and flow of economic aid, delivered as well as promised, must ensure freedom from hunger for every denizen where ever they are. Now comes scientific logic based on impeccable research studies to confirm that growing crops for food is much more efficient than for fuel.

"Using productive farmland to grow crops for food instead of fuel is more energy efficient, Michigan State University scientists concluded, after analyzing 17 years' worth of data to help settle the food versus fuel debate."It's 36 percent more efficient to grow grain for food than for fuel," said Ilya Gelfand, an MSU postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the study. "The ideal is to grow corn for food, then leave half the leftover stalks and leaves on the field for soil conservation and produce cellulosic ethanol with the other half."

The conclusion of the above study is fair and equitable to all and every nation must subscribe to the new strategy enunciated by the scientists who had the courage and conviction to rebuff the stand by some of the developed countries in the fore front advocating use of food crops for fuel to maintain the high quality of life to which their population is used to during the last few decades. Millions of tons of agricultural wastes generated in the farming operation are potential source of alcohol which needs viable technologies to convert cellulosic substance into yeast fermentable sugars. In stead of wasting valuable food by diversion to fuel making, rich nations must provide the where withal to the poor countries to process the farm wastes into valuable fuel.

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