State media responds to yesterday’s report from Charlotte de Fraiture of the International Water Management Institute that argued China’s plans to promote maize-based biofuel could wreak havoc on the country’s dwindling water supplies. From the China Daily:
In their effort to develop biofuel without harming the general food supply, the authorities have said they would shift from corn to sorghum, cassava and sweet potato for fuel production in the next five years. Cassava and sweet potato are both high-yield plants, and, though edible, they are not used as a staple food. Their use as a raw material would not create any artificial shortages of food products.
…In response to Li’s comments, Fraiture praised China’s decision to shift the focus of its biofuel production policies to non-staple foods. “I think China’s efforts to ensure food security by shifting to non-staple foods and policy to cap further corn ethanol plants are very good,” she said. [Full Text]