The Finance Minister of India has attacked biofuel as an outrageous use of food crops. He specifically cited the United States which he claims uses 20% of its corn for fuel, not food. Once American farm surpluses helped feed millions of people outside the country. Now the global market in commodities has drivien food prices much higher.The Indian minister says food prices have doubled since 2004.
He also condemned the oil producing countries. He accused them of greed and policies that are hurting the world economy. India's government subsidizes both fuel and food for its population. There are over 1.1 billion people in India. Second only to China. India's GDP grew at 8.5% (2007 est.) but the GDP per capita is still only $2,700 (2007 est.). That's less than 10% of the GDP per capita in the U.S. and much of Europe.
I recently blogged about one green tech company that uses computers and satellite data to chart and predict crop and forest production. This is becoming an evermore important tool for governments and financial investors alike. Here's my recent blog on the nexus of agriculture and green tech.