IFAD Workshop on Aviation Biofuels Calls for Engaging Small Farmers

22 November 2012: At the international workshop on Sustainable Pro-Poor Development of Aviation Biofuels, experts, policy makers and stakeholders examined the opportunities for biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry and create employment in rural communities. Panelists considered the food security implications of scaling up biofuel production.

Participants discussed risks of growing food-based biofuel crops in marginal areas that may be better suited for non-edible or multiple use crops.They also urged industry to consider technologies that use crops but do not compete directly with food production.

In particular, the workshop examined approaches to ensure that smallholders are not marginalized by increasing biofuel production for aviation. IFAD highlighted a $12 million initiative on research and development of alternative crops for smallholder biofuel production. They also underscored recent research grants that will help to produce biofuels sustainably.

The workshop, held in Rome, Italy on 22 November 2012, was organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development. [IFAD Press Release on the Sustainable Pro-Poor Development of Aviation Biofuels]