From the fuel versus food controversy to the institutional vacuum in biofuels West African policies

Gatete Djerma Charly, Dabat Marie-Hélène. 2015. From the fuel versus food controversy to the institutional vacuum in biofuels West African policies. . Eindhoven University of Technology. s.l. : s.n., 13 p. Biofuels and (ir)responsible innovation: Tensions between policy, practice and sustainable development, Eindhoven, Pays-Bas, 13 April 2015/14 April 2015.

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Abstract : High international oil prices in the mid‐2000s drew attention again to biofuels, which then began to be put on the political agendas of West African countries. Arguments advanced in their favor pointed to the potential to improve access of populations to ready, cheap energy and to promote economic development. Unsurprisingly, energy ministries stepped forward to establish biofuel policies, according little attention to the issues at stake for agricultural producers. Around the same time, increases in the price of food on the international market began to demonize biofuels, which then began to be perceived as a threat to the food security of populations in developing countries. In several countries dependent on outside technical and financial support, this shift in the international discourse influenced the position of agriculture ministries, which became lukewarm or even opposed to biofuels. Yet the question of rural development could have drawn the two sets of ministries closer together. The double talk at the international level damaged the coordination of public action to support the sector, generated an institutional vacuum, led to conflicts between stakeholders, and hampered the development of projects and sectors in West African countries. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés libres : Biofuels, Policy, Sub-Saharan countries

Classification Agris : P06 - Renewable energy resources
E16 - Production economics
Q60 - Processing of non-food or non-feed agricultural products
A01 - Agriculture - General aspects

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Gatete Djerma Charly, Université de Paris-Sud (FRA)
  • Dabat Marie-Hélène, CIRAD-ES-UMR ART-DEV (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0002-9938-1792

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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