Biofuels in Malawi: local impacts

TitleBiofuels in Malawi: local impacts
August 2017
Alexandros Gasparatos (University of Tokyo)
Francis X. Johnson (SEI-Africa)
Graham von Maltitz (CSIR, South Africa)
Davies Luhanga (COMSIP Malawi)
Anne Nyambane (SEI-Africa)
Tennesson Gondwe (COMSIP Malawi)
Project codeNE/L001373/1

A new ESPA Policy & Practice Brief by Alexandros Gasparatos et al. assesses whether sugarcane and jatropha production have helped tackle poverty in rural Malawi. They conclude: Poverty alleviation and food security outcomes for those involved in the sugarcane sector vary but appear largely positive. Land use conversion for sugarcane production can have positive or negative environmental impacts. Policy-makers need to evaluate trade-offs across the different socioeconomic and environmental impacts to guide decisions that affect sugarcane development plans. Jatropha production has minimal impact on food security and poverty alleviation, whether positive or negative. The low impact of jatropha is unlikely to change unless high-yielding jatropha varieties are tested in real conditions and market options improve.

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