Monday, June 23, 2008

[PBN]Fiji: Ethanol, food security linked

From: Fiji Times online - 22/08/2008

FOOD security is not only about production but affordability and accessibility, says national committee on bio-fuel deputy chairman, Aliki Turagakula.

Mr Turagakula said the establishment of an ethanol plant would provide an alternative to fresh cassava through cassava flour which is processed after starch is extracted from cassava tubers for ethanol.

He said affordability is when people have the purchasing power to buy the food they want.

"When they grow cassava they get $10,000 per hectare of cassava. So their purchasing power increases. They have the power to purchase whatever food they want," he said.

"It's also about accessibility. We have access to buy more food because of the income generated from ethanol.

"The product we produce at the factory after we extract the starch still has protein which is ground into cassava flour. So that is an addition and cheaper food source to supplement expansive flour made from wheat."

He said the committee was trying to address the importance of reducing costs on fossil fuels and the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr Turagakula said by 2015 Fiji must reduce its green house gas emission by 50 per cent.

He said the Government has put in place an energy policy.

"This year we are required to increase the proportion of use of bio fuel by 10 per cent and reduce the cost of fuel to 90 per cent. Next year it will be 80 to 20. So by 2015 it should be up to almost 40 per cent."

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