Brazil to continue biofuel production amid food crisis 2008-05-05 10:30:06   Print

    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 Brazil.

    "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 risk.

    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.

Editor: Sun Yunlong
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