As part of a new strategy on biofuel, South Africa has decided not to use maize for this purpose but save it for feed and food purposes, according to Buyelwa Sonjica, minerals and energy minister.
The strategy proposed that just 2% of fuel production would be through biofuels by 2013 – down from an original target of 4.5% as proposed in a draft strategy.
The minister acknowledged that the revision of the target, which she also admitted was set low, was in consideration of agricultural concerns about food security, particularly about the effect of the use of maize.
Fears about price
“This is largely due to fears around price increases and the fact that maize is a staple food source for the majority of the poor in the country.” Thus, she said, the strategy also proposed that the use of maize should be excluded in the development of the biofuels in the initial stages of this industry development. Sonjica said the focus would be on soya beans, sunflower seeds and canola, as well as sugar cane, for biofuels production.