The analysis finds that there is no inherent causal relation between bioenergy production and food insecurity, and there is enough land available for substantial production of bioenergy and food for a growing world population. The authors also note that this is not a zero-sum game: there are various synergies and multiple uses of crops, including the use of residues and wastes. In addition, with sufficient investment proper management, bioenergy can also be employed to improve degraded land and make it productive again.
However, food insecurity still affects nearly one billion people in less developed countries, of which roughly 20-30% live in urban areas and 70-80% in rural areas; for such persons the effects of bioenergy production need to be carefully considered. The key question is therefore not about managing competition for land between energy and food, but rather about finding the most valuable and productive entry points for incorporating bioenergy into human and natural landscapes.
There is also evidence that bioenergy could enhance food availability, access, utilization and stability for the rural poor. Production of bioenergy can potentially provide energy security and boost economic development by improving agricultural management, infrastructure, food preservation, education and market development. Good governance is required to ensure that poor farmers and other rural residents benefit from expanded bioenergy production. The impacts are generally site-specific so it is important to compare governance options and policy measures in specific settings in order to ensure that food security is improved.
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