African Development Bank calls for alternative fuel-producing crops

August 5th, 2008 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Lusaka (Zambia), Aug 5 (Xinhua) Promoters of bio-fuels need to come up with second and third generations energy crops that will not compete with food crops, African Development Bank (ADB) president Donald Kaberuka has said. Kaberuka urged southern African countries to pool their resources and address the energy crisis through regional investment in energy infrastructure instead of trying to implement efforts individually, Times of Zambia newspaper reported Tuesday.

Africa must be extra cautious about the promotion of energy crops, Kaberuka said during a programme on the Zambian radio.

He said he was sceptical about the huge investments going into energy crops production for extraction of bio-fuels, because the move was diminishing food production to levels that, if not checked, “the world would come to regret”.

He said there was too much stress on how useful the bio-fuels would be to the world that was grappling with high fuel prices, but no emphasis was placed on how the ever-increasing population would be fed if the energy crops occupy land for food crops.

The ADB chief said there was also need for the world to pay more attention to the plight of Africa in the face of climate change.

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