Surplus maize for biofuels, says minister

By Andy Rice 8 October 2010

The agriculture minister said on Friday that South Africa needs to review its biofuels policy to include maize so that farmers could use their excess crops for biofuel production. The government ommitted maize from its biofuels blend ratios three years ago on the basis that its a staple food in South Africa and it is more important to have maize in stomachs rather than fuel tanks. However, now faced with the largest maize harvest in more 25 years, and the fact the infrastructure to export the surplus maize just isn't there, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Petterson is softening to the idea of maize biofuel. It isn't clear whether the policy will be reversed to exclude maize from the biofuels list should South Africa suddenly face a maize shortage within the next decade. Read more: Reuters Africa

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