BRASILIA, May 4 (Xinhua) -- As the world faces a
sharp rise in food prices, the Brazilian government recently announced that the
country will continue with the production of biofuels, especially ethanol made
from sugar cane, without risking food security in the country.
Brazil, a world leader in both food and biofuel
production, has faced mounting pressure in the wake of a widespread shortage in
staple foods and resulting price hikes for foodstuffs.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said
"it is a myth" that the production of ethanol increases food prices, saying that
it was made up by the developed countries feeling threatened by an ever-growing
"When Brazil begins to threaten their potential,
there begins a series of propaganda against Brazil saying 'sugar cane is being
produced in the Amazon and that the ethanol made from it increases the price of
food in Brazil because all of the land in the country is being used to produce
biofuels.' These are all lies," said the president, adding that he will continue
to fight for biofuels.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to
Food, Jean Ziegler, said biofuels made from food products are one of the causes
of skyrocketing food prices, such as the use of corn in the United States.
He also pointed out "the danger" of ethanol
production in Brazil, saying it has put Brazilian citizens' right to food at
Observers say the world will need to double its food
production until the year 2030 in order to supply global demand.
Brazil began to produce ethanol four decades ago,
which now is widely used as clean energy and nearly half of the cars in the
country run on ethanol.
With the expansion of sales of flex-fuel vehicles,
the Brazilian National Supply Company, or Conab, estimated that the production
of ethanol in Brazil this year will be somewhere near 27 billion liters, an
annualized increase of 20 percent.
The president of the Brazilian Agricultural Research
Company, Silvio Crestana, assured that Brazil is able to increase its food yield
while continuing to develop its biofuel.
Crestana said Brazil would be able to properly divide
its 200 million hectares of land for production for food and ethanol purposes.
To ensure a constant rise in food production, the
government must see to it that farmers get a good reward and efforts should also
be made to protect the environment, he said.