The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Biofuels won"t harm food production

Entorno Inteligente, August 4, 2008
President Rafael Correa said he planned to promote biofuels in Ecuador while ensuring food security.
Correa said during his weekly radio show on Saturday that his administration was reviewing a plan to "begin developing biofuels in the country," working off the principle that the food supply should not be harmed.
"Ecuador has the capacity to feed 80 million people and we only have 13 million people. In other words, there is land available to develop" the agricultural industry, the president said.
Correa said some 123,456 acres of sugar cane could be planted, a minimal amount relative to the 12.3 million acres of farmland classified as exhausted that could be restored to production.
He said production of biofuels from inedible plants, such as the pine kernels that grow in the wild in Ecuador, could be started.
Correa said that sugar-cane ethanol, a biofuel already sold in some parts of the Andean nation, could be more efficient.
Ethanol, made from crops such as sugar cane and corn, is basically grain alcohol. The biofuel is usually mixed with unleaded gasoline and can be pumped into vehicles at existing service stations.
Critics contend that food crops are being diverted to the production of ethanol and other biofuels around the world, causing food shortages and leading to price spikes that affect the poorest people in society.
"This would allow us to diversify our energy mix," currently based on petroleum derivatives, and "save enormous amounts of hard currency" lost in importing gasoline and other fuels, Correa said.
Ecuador, despite being the fifth-largest oil producer in Latin America, imports gasoline at an annual cost of some $3 billion.

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